With three games in five days this week, South Medford boys soccer coach Claudio Villa knew it was imperative to get a lead in the Southwest Conference home match against Roseburg.
The Panthers responded by scoring three goals within the first 19 minutes en route to a 5-2 victory Tuesday at South Medford High.
“Our goal was to get some early goals so we could rest our starters,” said Villa. “That gives you more room to manage the game. We split minutes pretty even among all 18 players today.”
Junior midfielder Joel Izaguirre scored in the fifth minute when Angus Stringer flicked a throw-in deep inside the Roseburg zone to the far side of the goal and Izaguirre pounced on the pass for an easy tap-in.
Izaguirre tallied in the 28th minute on a booming shot from 25 yards into the upper part of the net to put the Panthers ahead 4-0.
“(Izaguirre) probably has the best touch on our team,” said Villa. “He’s a very talented kid with the ball.”
Stringer assisted on South Medford’s second goal, just a minute after the Panthers grabbed the initial lead, when Kam Calhoun converted on a low shot to the left portion of the goal.
The Panthers (2-1-2, 2-1-1 SWC) scored again in the 19th minute when Ian Gwaltney won the ball inside the box and buried a shot from 15 yards out. Defender Kennon Pulsipher provided a long transition pass for the assist.
Roseburg (2-5-1, 1-3-0) trailed 4-1 at halftime.
In the second half, Ruben Rodriguez out-fought a couple of Roseburg defenders in the box and played the ball back to Calhoun, who scored in the 57th minute.
“We focused on three components — communication, decision making and game intensity,” said Villa. “The boys performed the way we wanted them to.”
SOUTH EUGENE 5, NORTH MEDFORD 1: At Eugene, North Medford scored first in the SWC match, but South Eugene’s depth and experience proved too tough in handing the Black Tornado its first conference loss.
In the 30th minute, North Medford’s Caleb Forte scored on a header when Jordan Higuera’s free kick ricocheted off the South Eugene wall toward the Axe net.
It was 1-1 at halftime after South Eugene (6-1-1, 4-0 SWC) tallied in the 37th.
Black Tornado senior goalie Junior Garcia made four difficult saves in the first half.
North (3-3, 3-1) received inspired play by sophomore center back Braden Byrd on defense.
GRANTS PASS 4, SHELDON 0: At Grants Pass, Gage Berkey scored twice, David Ruiz had three assists and the Cavemen went off for three second-half goals to end a six-match winless streak, which included two forfeits and three Southwest Conference setbacks.
Berkey scored in the 31st minute and 52nd, with Ruiz assisting on the first. Also in the second half, Cade Anderson and Wesley Frye scored for Grants Pass (1-5-1, 1-3 SWC), with Ruiz assisting on both goals.
Sheldon (0-5-3, 0-3-1) remained winless.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 10, RV ADVENTIST 0: Cascade Christian improved to 4-0-1 overall and in District 5 with the win at U.S. Cellular Park Monday.
Challengers senior defender Caleb Sciapiti scored two goals, as did midfielders Jonny McCoy and Sam Preszler.
Senior defender Levi Ellerbeck scored his first goal. JJ Thomas, Jorge Garcia-Gutierrez and Seth Thomas also scored for Cascade Christian. Caleb Knight and Levi Sciapiti combined for a clean sheet at goalkeeper.
NORTH MEDFORD 2, SOUTH EUGENE 2: Junior midfielder Claire Pyka scored two goals for North Medford, which led 2-1 before visiting South Eugene netted the equalizer in the 73rd minute.
Pyka scored unassisted in the eighth minute and connected off an assist by junior midfielder Jazzlynn Ross in the 63rd for the Black Tornado (1-3-3, 1-2-1 Southwest Conference). Tornado senior goalkeeper Brinley O’Neill had eight saves, and freshman center back Brisa Ledesma played well.
South Eugene is 3-3-2, 3-0-1 SWC.
SOUTH MEDFORD 3, ROSEBURG 1: At Roseburg, sophomore forward Toni Coleman scored twice to help the Panthers get back to .500 in the Southwest Conference.
Coleman booted home a left-footed shot off an assist by Talia Hutchins in the 20th minute, then struck again off an assist by Madelyn Pineda in the 37th.
Ula Chamberlin added an unassisted goal in the 70th for South Medford (3-5, 2-2 SWC). Also stepping up for the Panthers were Heather Ramirez and Hutchins, who distributed the ball out of the middle to set up South’s offense.
Roseburg (3-4-1, 0-4) scored with three minutes to go.