The Grizzlies had to battle back not one, but twice on Tuesday night.
Freshman forward Davidson Graham’s 63rd-minute strike pulled the Ashland High boys soccer team even and capped a second-half rally, as the Grizzlies played out a 2-2 draw with Roseburg at Walter A. Phillips Field.
The Grizzlies (1-2-1 overall), who open up Midwestern League play this Saturday afternoon against North Bend, trailed 1-0 at halftime and then 2-1 midway through the second half before pulling even once and for all with Graham’s goal off a quality cross from Noah Aguilar.
“The Grizzlies stepped up tonight and showed they can come back,” Ashland head coach Abdi Guled said. “I think this was a good way to go into (league play) and it was almost like a playoff game tonight. Getting those big hits and being physical, every game like that helps us and get us prepared.”
Ashland made the score 1-1 10 minutes into the second half after Carson Pindell put in a rebound after Scott Gustafson’s free kick from 23 yards out was initially saved.
Roseburg jumped back in front eight minutes later, but it was Aguilar and Davidson teaming up for the Grizzlies’ second goal of the night, one that saw the latter finish with his left foot and send a shot across the face of goal into the net.
“Noah showed some very strong skills with his passing,” Guled said. “Sam (Austin), our sweeper, did a great job. Kona and Davidson put pressure on their players to let us do some good things.”
Ashland goalkeeper Gabriel Giancarlo recorded three high-quality saves in the game, according to Guled.
“It was one of those things where it was good to be out an running,” Guled said. “Our midfielders carried us this time, Scott and Carson. For the whole team, having the energy of not giving up and playing to the last whistle was good. It was very entertaining. That was a very fun night of soccer.”
Prep Girls Soccer
ROSEBURG 1, ASHLAND 0: At Roseburg, Ashland hung tough with 6A opposition for the second straight game but ultimately came out on the short end of the final scoring, falling to Roseburg at Fir Grove Fields.
Roseburg (3-0-1) scored the game’s lone goal in the 13th minute by freshman forward Madasyn Van Acker, who was able to convert a 1-on-1 with Ashland goalkeeper Nina Munson after receiving a through ball from the midfield.
Munson — who faced more of the pressure in the game, according to Ashland head coach Eric Wolff — finished with eight saves.
“Roseburg had a tough year last year and they had just more energy today,” Wolff said. “We don’t want to make excuses. We’re still making the typical rookie mistakes and learning on the fly, learning on the go. So many young girls are used to playing a slower game that a 6A school likes to play.”
Ashland (1-3) opens MWL play this Saturday on the road at North Bend, with a 1 p.m. kickoff scheduled.
ASHLAND 3, NORTH BEND 0: At Ashland, Ashland extended its league winning streak to three games with a straight-set victory (25-12, 25-20, 25-23) over winless North Bend at Mountain Ave. Gymnasium.
The Grizzlies (3-2, 3-1 MWL) got a balanced attack across the board. Ania Farmer recorded nine kills and five blocks, while Jesse Crane had five kills and five digs.
Grace Angermier finished with 23 assists and eight digs and Chase Hamik added 11 digs and a pair of aces. Rosie Dean also had three aces and three kills in the win for the Ashland.
Ashland continues its lengthy MWL homestand on Thursday night when it hosts Eagle Point.
Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.