South Eugene repeats as SWC champion

EUGENE — Defending Southwest Conference boys soccer champion South Eugene wasn't the favorite to repeat entering the season.

With Saturday's 2-1 home victory against South Medford, the Axemen silenced the critics by clinching their second straight league title. A Panthers' win would have moved South Medford into a tie for first.

"South Eugene had some naysayers, including myself," South Medford coach Dave Kaufman said, "but they proved people wrong. They're not flashy, they're just very consistent."

The Panthers (6-6-1, 6-3 SWC) grabbed a 1-0 lead midway through the opening half. South Medford scored when Brian Avila's shot wasn't controlled by the Axemen's goalie and Beto Cortez passed the carom to Santiago Guerrero, who boomed a kick into the upper right corner of the net from the top of the 18.

"We were pressing and giving them trouble," Kaufman said. "They had to make some adjustments. We weren't real dangerous after that."

In the 60th minute, South Eugene tied the game on a penalty kick by Dion Coxe. Alex Dakers caused the penalty kick when he beat a Panther defender, then got fouled in the box.

The Axemen got the game winner at the 71st minute when the ball squirted lose on a scramble at the top of the box and Ian Smith scored.

"We haven't learned how to battle back from adversity," Kaufman said. "That's one of their strengths, they don't panic when they get down a goal."

South Eugene had a 9-5 edge in shots.

NORTH MEDFORD 5, SHELDON 1 — Tony Barbieri scored just 12 seconds into the match to set the tone for North Medford in a Southwest Conference romp at Hoffbuhr Field.

Barbieri gathered in a loose ball and fired a left-footed shot from 15 yards into the upper right corner of the net.

Alex Russell added goals in the 22nd and 35th minutes off assists from Ricardo Riquelme and Leo Keiser for a 3-0 Black Tornado lead.

Sheldon's Garrett Clay scored on a scramble in the box in the 39th minute, but North sealed the victory with two more goals in the second half.

Joe Lopez scored in the opening minute of the second half on an 18-yard blast, and Justin Taylor scored on a header off a cross by Dustin Torrey in the 76th minute.

Jace Snyder had four saves in goal for North (7-4-2, 5-3-1 SWC), which outshot Sheldon 15-6.

ROSEBURG 4, GRANTS PASS 0 — At Grants Pass, Steven Strickland scored twice in each half to lead Roseburg to the Southwest Conference win.

Strickland scored on a penalty kick in the 10th minute and on a scramble off an assist by Lorenzo Vazquez in the 38th minute for a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Strickland tacked on two goals off assists by Manny Mendoza in the second half.

Brandon Johnson picked up the shutout in goal for the Indians, who outshot the Cavemen (3-9-1, 2-7 SWC) 14-9.

Southern Sky Conference

EAGLE POINT 2, MAZAMA 0 — At Klamath Falls, Eagle Point's tough defense held Mazama to two shots on goal and helped the Eagles outlast the Vikings in the Southern Sky contest.

Juan Pulido scored in the 28th minute, getting an assisted from Alex Rodriguez to put Eagle Point (3-8, 2-3 SSC) up 1-0 at the half. Hernan Torres converted a penalty kick in the 55th minute to give the Eagles their second goal.

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