GRANTS PASS — When it came to scoring goals, North Medford’s boys soccer team went to extremes Tuesday.
The Black Tornado tallied in the first 10 seconds, then in the final 53 seconds of its Southwest Conference match against Grants Pass.
The result was a 2-1 victory as North Medford improved to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference. Grants Pass is 0-4-1 and 0-2.
The Cavemen’s goal came in the 70th minute.
On the game winner, Caleb Forte corralled a long ball, then slipped a pass to Sergio Perez.
“He just kind of beat the keeper,” said Black Tornado coach Michael Belzberg, “and we ended up walking away with our heads up high.”
Belzberg said it was a welcome victory, the seventh-year coach’s first here since his initial season.
“It was nice to get off the schneid,” said Belzberg.
Forte had the quick strike to open the match. Taking a long pass after the opening kick, he hammered a high shot off a post.
Belzberg played every player on his team for significant minutes, a strategy he’s trying for the first time. The objective is to get each player a minimum of 25 minutes, he said.
“We seem to be winning more by playing team soccer,” said Belzberg. “It’s really been a positive thing for everybody.”
SOUTH EUGENE 2, SOUTH MEDFORD 1: South Medford drew first blood in the Southwest Conference match, getting its goal just eight minutes in at South Medford High.
But South Eugene (4-1-1, 2-0 SWC) scored twice in the second half, in the 60th and 72nd minutes, to overtake the Panthers.
The goal for South Medford (2-1-1, 1-1) came off the foot of Ruben Rodirguez from about 25 yards. Kam Calhoun assisted on the play.
The Panthers’ Jude Pannell played well in goal upon returning from a concussion.
ASHLAND 6, KLAMATH UNION 0: At Klamath Falls, Ashland built a 4-0 halftime lead — three of those goals coming from freshman striker Davidson Graham in the first 17 minutes — en route to its highest goal total of the season.
Graham opened the scoring on the Grizzlies’ first attack, making it 1-0 all of 18 seconds in. He got his first-half hat trick before the midway point of the opening 40 minutes, putting Ashland (3-2-1) ahead 3-0.
Scott Gustafson, Noah Aguilar and Carson Pindell each recorded assists on Graham’s goals.
Pindell finished off the Grizzlies’ big first half with a goal on a back-heel past the Pelicans’ onrushing goalkeeper.
Zander Huston and Simon Cropper rounded out the scoring, and Kona Makai recorded a pair of assists.
Keeper Gabriel Giancarlo got his second shutout and made three saves.
GRANTS PASS 1, NORTH MEDFORD 0: Grants Pass capitalized on a quick reset that turned into a heads-up breakaway goal by Isabelle Cruz in the 25th minute in the Southwest Conference match.
North Medford’s Jaida Ross nearly gave the Black Tornado the early lead in the 10th but Grants Pass’ keeper made a great save to keep the game scoreless.
North (0-3-2, 0-2 SWC) barely missed on two other opportunities as well. Emily Parker had a breakaway in the 36th but shot wide, and Brooklyn Snow fired over the crossbar on another good look in the 65th.
Grants Pass (5-0-1, 2-0) has won five straight.
SOUTH EUGENE 2, SOUTH MEDFORD 0: At Eugene, South Eugene scored twice in the first 10 minutes and survived a near miss by South Medford later in the first half to earn the SWC shutout.
South Medford (1-5, 0-2 SWC) was led by sophomore midfielder Emily Ingledew, who provided a spark off the bench.
South Eugene (2-3-1, 2-0) scored in the third and 10th minutes.