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SOU Roundup: SOU caps season with upset win

ASHLAND — The Southern Oregon University women’s soccer team denied Corban a share of the Cascade Conference West Division title Tuesday, upsetting the Warriors 2-1 on the final day of the regular season at Raider Stadium.

Corban (8-3 overall, 8-2 CCC) started the afternoon tied with Oregon Tech atop the standings. Shortly after the Warriors fell at SOU, the Owls finished off a win at Northwest (Wash.), securing the outright championship and an automatic bid to the NAIA national tournament.

Following Monday’s discouraging 2-0 loss to Corban, the Raiders turned the tables to clinch their fifth straight winning season at 5-4-1.

They seized momentum and ended a three-game scoreless drought in the 16th minute, when a strong defensive stand turned into Trinity Rhoades leading Sarah Mauk with a pass down the left sideline. Mauk retrieved it, cut in towards the goal and took a shot that deflected off the defender in front of her, then bounced back off her shin through the defender and Warriors keeper Devan Archer and into the net.

In the 60th minute, Gabbie Johnson padded the lead by beating Archer to an errant clearance pass and shooting an uncontested tap-in.

Corban’s Mei Suetsugu cut the lead in half in the 63rd minute, striking directly off of Jamine Biava’s throw-in from the left sideline, but the Raider defense held strong the rest of the way.

SOU keeper Ashlynn Hernandez picked up five impressive saves. Less than two minutes into the second half, after a foul inside the box, she stopped Juliana Pires’ penalty kick that would have tied the score.

The Warriors had won five consecutive games. They’d only given up two goals combined in their previous six.

Mauk finished as SOU’s leading goal scorer with four. Johnson’s goal was her first as a Raider.

Suetsugu ended at No. 2 on the CCC leaderboard in goals scored during conference play with six.

Awards

CONFERENCE HONORS: Southern Oregon University softball players Lauren Quirke and Gabby Sandoval and distance runner Zeke Stelzer have each been voted Cascade Conference athletes of the week.

Quirke had a monster weekend in the top-ranked Raider softball team’s four-game sweep of Providence (Mont.). The senior earned softball player of the week kudos by going 6-for-11 with four home runs, a triple, a double, nine RBIs and four runs in the series, and also improved to 10-2 in the circle by pitching three scoreless innings in Game 2.

She leads all CCC players in batting average (.515), RBIs (40) and total bases (89).

Sandoval was named pitcher of the week with two more shutouts that put her into the top five in NAIA history in career wins, bringing her record to 106-17. She went to 16-0 with a 1.24 ERA on the season, allowing six hits and striking out 17 without a walk in 10 innings of work, and has now won 30 consecutive decisions since 2019.

At the Northwest Distance Jamboree in Eugene, Stelzer became an automatic qualifier for the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He needed a time of 9 minutes, 24 seconds or better for the ‘A’ mark and finished in 9:22.18, the second-best time in the country so far this season.

The 30-2 Raider softball team will play a four-game series this weekend at Eastern Oregon. The track and field team is back home for SOU Meet 3, starting at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday.