After a near perfect season, the South boys’ soccer team was eliminated from the Oregon state playoffs in the second round by Grants Pass after a scoreless game that went into overtime.
The Axemen, who were ranked second in the state, finished the regular season with 12 wins, 0 losses, and 2 draws. They were 10-0 in the Southwest Conference.
The South boys hoped to make it all the way to the state final, but the Grants Pass Cavemen surprised the Axemen in a hard-fought game.
“Going into the [state] tournament, we knew what we were capable of,” senior co-captain Casey Brandon said, “and we just wanted to play each game as best we could.”
The two teams went into overtime, finishing regulation with a 0-0 draw.
“The tone of the game was very frustrating because none of our shots were going in. We had already beaten Grants Pass, so we were confident we could do it again,” senior co-captain and goalkeeper Rori Sullivan said.
The Cavemen scored in the first few minutes of the first half of overtime. The Axemen were unable to equalize.
“I thought that the team was excited and ready to play,” Brandon said, “but throughout the game we couldn’t get a rhythm going, and that extended until the end.”
The Axemen will lose seven seniors next year, but they will continue to have a strong program for years to come.
“We had a small senior class,” Brandon said, “but I think we instilled a good mentality into the younger players, and I’m sure they will be good for years to come.”
Despite the sudden end, South had an incredible year. The Axemen only allowed eight goals, and conversely, scored forty-eight goals.
“This was our year to win, but I believe [the team] still has a good chance next year,” Sullivan added.