Raiders turn back Eastern in Cascade Conference playoffs

The Southern Oregon University women's soccer team said goodbye to University Field on Wednesday afternoon and hello to the Cascade Conference tournament semifinals.

Sydney Paulsen's laser broke a tie in the 62nd minute, Chloe Welch added on in the 66th and Julie Zamzow had a hand in both goals as the fourth-seeded Raiders eliminated No. 5 Eastern Oregon, 2-0, in the first round of the six-team CCC Championships presented by U.S. Bank.

SOU (10-5-3 overall) hadn't won a postseason match since 2008. Third-seeded Corban defeated Oregon Tech in the other quarterfinal, meaning the game was SOU's last at home before moving to Raider Stadium next season.

The Raiders are two wins away from a national tournament bid, but standing in their way Saturday are the Concordia Cavaliers — top-ranked in the NAIA and winners of the last 14 regular season titles. The Cavs won the only other matchup between the teams this season, 2-1, on Oct. 17 in Ashland.

The Raiders made the most out of their opportunities against Eastern (9-5-1). They got off just six shots to the Mountaineers' 12 but pulled away in a hurry during second half.

Zamzow won a ball on SOU's side a little over 16 minutes into the frame and led Paulsen perfectly to the top of the box. Paulsen, who has a team-best seven goals but had been shut out in her last five outings, was off balance when she rocketed a 20-yarder off her right foot and over the head of EOU keeper Kailey Moss.

Four minutes later the Raiders had an advantage and worked the ball from the left side of the box to the right — Danielle Stave to Zamzow to Welch — and Welch converted the 10-yard shot for her third goal of the season.

Zamzow's assists were her first two of the year. Stave was also credited with one, bringing her 2013 total to two.

The Mountaineers, who were making their first postseason appearance since 2006, are 0-7-1 against SOU in their last eight tries.

They became SOU's eighth shutout victim of the year and sixth at home. SOU keeper Kylie Moltzen handled five saves.

Now the Raiders will try to break a three-year drought in the semifinal round. Concordia took them down in that round last season, 1-0, and will bring an 11-match win streak to the meeting.

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