ASHLAND, Ore. -- Southern Oregon traveled south to sunny California this past weekend for a slate of game versus two familiar Western Collegiate Lacrosse League (WCLL) Division II foes, coming away with a pair of wins over San Jose State, 8-3, and Pacific, 12-7.
On Saturday, the Raiders had their fifth all-time meeting with the San Jose State, and the game started as a defensive battle as both teams only scored twice in the opening 30 minutes. Midfielder Ari Feldman scored the Raiders lone goal in the first quarter off an assist from attackman Spencer Pregal. Attackman David Mungeam tied the game at 2-2 off an extra-man opportunity off a feed from Feldman.
Goals by Andre Morris, Scott Murphy and Mungeam propelled the Raiders to a three-goal run, giving them a 5-2 lead. The Raiders’ man-down unit was spectacular in the third quarter as they went a perfect 3-for-3 in stopping the Spartans. This allowed the Raiders to gain some much needed momentum. The Spartans finally broke through the Raiders’ stout defensive unit and scored with one second left in the quarter, bringing the score 5-3 in the final frame.
The Raiders outshot the Spartans, 19-2, in the fourth quarter and saw Pregal record his his goals on the day. Murphy also converted on an EMO chance for his 2nd goal of the game off Feldman’s second assist.
Goalie Connor Kelley continued his impressive start to the season, making 12 saves and recording an 80.0 save percentage. Harley Humphrey was once again dominant at the faceoff X, where he went 10-14 (71.4%). On the day, the Raiders’ man-down unit killed five of the Spartans’ six EMO chances (83%).
Pregal was given the game ball for his outstanding performance (2 g, 1 a).
On Sunday, the Raiders had a Valentine’s Day date with the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The beginning of this game was much the same as Saturday’s bout with San Jose State. Strong defensive showings by both teams kept the score low in the opening half. Murphy got on the board first for the Raiders, then Pregal found Feldman for an EMO goal. The score was tied 2-2 headed into the second quarter.
Wilborn found Mungeam for a score before Harrison scored, giving the Raiders a 4-2 lead. The Tigers scored two unanswered goals to knot the score at four apiece as the game went into halftime.
The action picked up in the third quarter as nine total goals were scored. Murphy and Pregal scored two for the Raiders (Murphy recording a hat trick in the process), with Feldman and Scott Comer scoring one apiece. Wilborn, Murphy and Garrett Greenway recorded assists during the high scoring third frame. The Tigers scored 3 goals of their own, but the Raiders took a 10-7 lead going into the final quarter.
Pregal joined Murphy in the hat trick club off a Harrison helper, as the Raiders lead grew to 11-7. After an illegal body check penalty called on Kelley, the Raiders turned to backup goalie and starting close defenseman Josh Barnhart to hop in between the pipes while the penalty was served. Barnhart made four incredible saves on the ensuing man-down opportunity to help protect Southern’s lead, earning him the game ball in the process.
Morris scored the last Raider goal of the game unassisted, bringing the score to 12-7. Murphy and Pregal led the team with their respective hat tricks, while four Raiders – Wilborn, Murphy, Pregal, and Harrison – tied for a game-high two assists. This was the Raiders fourth straight victory over the Pacific Tigers.
After the road trip, the Raiders find themselves at 3-0 in the standings. Southern will head back down to California this upcoming weekend as they face San Francisco (0-1) on Saturday and the UC-Santa Cruz (1-2) on Sunday..
(Story by Casey LIebler)