Pirates edge Mustangs in shootout

TALENT — The Phoenix boys soccer team is making up for lost time.

The Pirates defeated Hidden Valley 2-1 in a shootout in Skyline Conference play Saturday at Colver field to stay squarely in the state-playoff hunt.

Each team scored once in the second half but couldn't find the back of the net again until the shootout. Phoenix scored on all five of its penalty kicks, and the Mustangs missed once on four attempts.

"It's a tough situation because these are pretty much must-win games for us," said Phoenix coach Dennis Flenner. "We struggled our first round with everybody, and we made a commitment to go 5-0 (in the second half), and right now we're 4-0 and still have to go play at Henley (on Tuesday)."

Phoenix is 8-5 overall and 6-3 in conference. The Pirates are one game back of league-leading Hidden Valley, with North Valley at 7-3 and Henley 6-3 heading into the final week of the regular season. The top three teams in the league advance to the state playoffs.

"We had to win today if we were going to make any kind of a decent run at the state tournament," said Flenner. "It was big. I don't know what else to say besides I haven't stepped on the ground ever since."

Robbie Erkeneff converted a header off a corner kick to give Hidden Valley a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute of the second half, but Phoenix answered about 45 seconds later on a goal by Jose Rivera from six yards out. Danny Giardina set up the Pirates' score when his shot hit the side post and caromed back to Rivera, who put the ball in the back of the net.

After playing through regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods without another goal, the teams squared off in the shootout and Phoenix went a perfect 5-for-5 in PKs. Geoff Jensen, Woody Giardina, Danny Giardina and Christian Parra all scored to set up the match-winner by Absalon Castillo.

Justen Nielsen converted for the Mustangs, but Corey Dean hit the post and missed to open the door for Phoenix. Taylor Willi and Jason Kellogg also scored, but Castillo's goal made it unnecessary for a fifth HV shooter to step up.

Each team had nine shots on goal, with Hidden Valley providing more pressure in the overtime periods but to no avail.

Gresham Prehn was solid in goal for Phoenix, while Jimmy Bickers fared equally well in goal for Hidden Valley.

HENLEY 9, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0 — At Klamath Falls, Henley got nine goals from eight different players.

Matt Kelly scored two goals for the Hornets, and Nate Hamilton, Nick Golden and Jordan Rupp had their first goals of the season.

Other goals for Henley came from Danny Celemin, Joseph Santos, Max Malcomb and Sean Demeris.

The win brings the Hornets to 6-3 in the Skyline Conference (9-4 overall), tied for third place with Phoenix.

Henley and Phoenix face off on Tuesday.

District 3 Boys

ST. MARY'S 3, GLIDE 0 — At Glide, junior midfielder Bay Gross scored on two second-half headers as St. Mary's secured its second straight District 3 championship.

The Crusader victory coupled with Umpqua Valley Christian's 2-1 loss to Creswell clinched the title.

A.J. Leep scored off a Keenan Grant assist at the 25th minute to give St. Mary's (11-0-2, 8-0-1 Dist. 3) the initial lead.

Gross scored in the 60th and 66th minutes as the Crusaders took a comfortable 3-0 advantage. Mark Reniele and Grant assisted on the second-half goals.

Senior Nick DeYarman anchored the Crusaders' defense, and junior Michael Brimble recorded the shutout in goal.

District 6 Girls

HIDDEN VALLEY 6, PHOENIX 0 — At Murphy, Denise Powell scored two of Hidden Valley's six goals to help the Mustangs shut out Phoenix.

Dana Powell, Matti Lindgren, Ariana Fleishman and Ashley Seal also added goals for the Mustangs (10-2 Dist. 6).

Keeper Katie Figoni assisted in the shutout with four saves. Hidden Valley outshot Mazama 13-5.

ST. MARY'S 3, ROGUE RIVER 0 — St. Mary's got off to a sluggish start but found enough firepower to register its fifth straight league victory.

The Crusaders (11-2, 9-2 Dist. 6) held a 1-0 lead at halftime on a Molly Harris goal off an assist from Caitlin Carini.

At the 53rd minute, Sarah Seus intercepted a Rogue River pass and scored on a breakaway from inside the 18-yard box.

Hanna Heycke completed the Crusaders' scoring off a diagonal pass over the top by sophomore Haley Thomas.

St. Mary's received strong performances on the defensive end from Nikki Steinsiek and Kelsey Gross. Freshman goalie Lauren Angel registered the shutout.

NORTH VALLEY 3 CASCADE CHRISTIAN 0 — A muddy field made for a slow game as North Valley managed to get by Cascade Christian (0-12-1, 0-11 Dist. 6) in District 6 action.

Trisha Durham scored first for the Knights in the 14th minute, crossing from the left side to the far corner of the goal.

Nearly 40 minutes later, Claire Willing booted in another one for North Valley.

With seconds left in the match, Natalie Goens scored one more for the Knights on a breakaway.

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