It took a spectacular penalty kick-save by its sophomore goalkeeper, but the South Medford boys soccer team will head to the playoffs riding its longest winning streak of the season.
Kam Calhoun scored an unassisted goal in the 55th minute and Jude Pannell denied a PK 15 minutes later as South Medford wrapped up its regular season schedule with a 1-0 nonleague win Tuesday over Eagle Point.
The win sends the Panthers (9-2-3) into the OSAA Class 6A state tournament on a four-game win streak. South Medford finished second in the Southwest Conference.
“It was good practice for some of the younger men,” South Medford coach Claudio Villa said. “We had some JV players come up and play for a minute, trying to look for different options in case it’s needed down the road in the playoffs. Also, it keeps the momentum going into the playoffs. Knowing that you have a winning streak helps you with motivation a lot.”
After a scoreless first half South Medford got on the board 15 minutes into the second half when Calhoun took over possession in South’s half of the field, scooted down the sideline and fired a shot from about 10 yards out. He used a soft touch to squeeze the ball just inside the far post.
The Eagles (8-3-2), who rank fourth in the 5A Midwestern League, had a golden opportunity to tie the game when an Eagle Point player was fouled in the box in the 70th minute, but Pannell, a sophomore, made a diving save to preserve the lead.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Eagles, who play their regular-season finale Saturday at Willamette.
BEND 4, NORTH MEDFORD 2: At Bend, North Medford jumped out to a 2-0 lead but stumbled down the stretch in both teams’ nonleague, regular-season finale.
Freshman Scott Bowman scored in the eighth minute and Jorge Saenz in the 20th as the Tornado (5-8-1) came out firing on all cylinders.
Bend (7-3-4) rallied behind Calvin Berteau, who scored two goals, including the go-ahead strike with 10 minutes left. The Lava Bears added an insurance goal with about two minutes to go.
The Tornado had already qualified for the OSAA Class 6A state playoffs by placing third in the Southwest Conference.
CRATER 1, NORTH BEND 1: At Central Point, junior midfielder Jeremiah Berry scored from 25 yards out in the 16th minute for Crater, which surrendered a late goal but still snapped a seven-match winless streak on senior day.
Berry dropped the ball right over the keeper’s head to give the Comets (2-10-1, 0-6-1 MWL) the early lead.
North Bend (2-9-2, 0-6-2) scored an equalizer on a header with about eight minutes to go.
CRATER 3, NORTH EUGENE 1: At Central Point, Nehkyah Ellis had 10 digs and 14 kills, including the two most important spikes of the match in the fourth set as Crater wrapped up a perfect run through the Midwestern League with a 25-15, 25-20, 15-25, 26-24 victory at Crater High.
The Comets (19-2, 16-0 MWL) rallied from deficits of 7-2, 8-4 and 22-18 in the fourth set thanks in part to Ellis, who blasted a kill to tie the set at 24-all and another to clinch the match.
Addison Lowder added eight kills and a season-high five solo blocks for the Comets, Maya VanHook six kills and Rane Jensen 16 digs and an ace. Heather Colmer had 14 digs, including a diving save on match point to help set up Ellis’ clincher, and Aubrey Kievit added 10 digs and two aces for the Comets, who had already secured their first league title since 2013.
North Eugene (13-6, 12-4) was led by Alexis Hobie’s 16 kills, while Hannah Randall added 13 kills and 22 assists.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 3, HIDDEN VALLEY 0: Caroline McMahon had 12 kills and 11 digs and Kaylee Cannon nine kills and nine digs as the Challengers capped their regular-season schedule with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-14 nonleague victory at Cascade Christian High School.
Hannah Stanfield added five kills and Taylor Cave 31 assists for Cascade Christian (20-5), which avenged a four-set Oct. 15 loss to Hidden Valley (20-4).
Cascade Christian, the defending Class 3A state champions, will host Rainier in a round of 16 playoff match set for Saturday at noon. St. Mary’s, the No. 11 seed, will travel to take on No. 6 Horizon Christian the same day.