Ashland boys use second-half surge to wallop Crater

CENTRAL POINT — In a tale of two halves, winless Crater played Ashland to 0-0 stalemate in the first half of their nonconference boys soccer match Tuesday, but the Grizzlies surged ahead in the final 40 minutes at Dutch Meyer Field.

Leland Sanchez scored the first goal six minutes after intermission and the Grizzlies (2-4-1) added three others in a 4-0 triumph. The Comets dropped to 0-6.

"Crater played very good defense in the first half," Ashland coach Brad Roupp said. "We got quite a few shots, but nothing would fall. They defended well and kept us from getting a good foot on the ball."

Comet junior goalkeeper Omar Mendez was a stalwart. With constant pressure from Ashland's attack, he often had to decide whether to stay in goal or come out and meet the onslaught.

"He played a great game," said Roupp. "He played a very smart half in the first half. He just stopped everything."

Crater has adopted a defensive philosophy to compensate for its inexperience, said coach Jason Licato, and that leads to aggressive play by opponents.

Ashland's pace wore down the Comets in the second half. The Grizzlies' other goals were by Zahara Moyers-Cullumbine in the 50th minute, Josue Leal (64th) and Dylan Molnar (68th).

Imani Sharpe got the shutout in goal.

Girls Soccer

Senior Makayla Hickman scored two goals, including what proved to be the game-winner in the 60th minute to give Crater its first win of the season, 2-0, at North Mountain Park.

Hickman took advantage of a breakaway and split two Ashland defenders to score the first goal for the Comets (1-4-1) from about 10 yards away.

In the 75th minute, Hickman, who now has three goals on the season, took a pass from Caitlin Ralls and booted home a shot from about the 18-yard line to give Crater an insurance goal.

Ashland (4-2-1) has lost two in a row after going undefeated through its first five give games.

Prep Volleyball

Senior setter Cassie Hall had 30 assists and junior right side McKenzie Jackson added five kills and 11 digs in Ashland's nonleague sweep, 25-13, 25-21, 25-21, at Grants Pass High School.

Also for the Grizzlies (3-4), senior outside hitter Piper Cantrell had eight digs, seven kills and four aces and junior outside hitter Shelby Minor had eight kills and three aces.

Grants Pass (3-7) was led by Alyssa Morris' 18 assists and Emily Henderson's six kills.

Women's Volleyball

Following a pair of home Cascade Collegiate Conference wins over the weekend, Southern Oregon remained at No. 18 in the latest Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Tuesday.

The Raiders, who have been ranked as high as No. 13 this season and currently own an 8-4 record, picked up 291 points to tie for the 18th spot with Missouri Baptist. Southern Oregon faces CCC foes Northwest Christian and Corban on the road this weekend.

College of Idaho leads all CCC schools and jumped one spot to No. 7 in this week's poll after running its conference record to 8-0 over the weekend. Eastern Oregon, also 8-0 in conference play, picked up 28 points to rank just outside the top 25, while Concordia picked up one vote in the poll.

Texas at Brownsville began its march through the Red River Athletic Conference with a pair of league wins over the past week and cemented itself as a unanimous No. 1. The Scorpions, who defeated Wiley (Texas) and Texas College to open up conference play, garnered all 23 first-place votes and 653 points.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and Independents. The next poll will be announced on Oct. 4.

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