Two months have passed since the Southern Oregon University men’s soccer team’s last loss. If the Raiders can stay hot through the final weekend of the regular season, the Cascade Conference championship will be theirs again.
On the other end of the longest bus trip of the season, SOU (13-2-1 overall, 10-0-1 CCC) will visit fifth-place Providence (Mont.) (7-5-2, 6-3-2) at 12 p.m. Pacific Time today and seventh-place Carroll (Mont.) (6-6-1, 5-5-1) at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Sunday. With three points, the Raiders will be assured no worse than a co-title with Corban (12-2-1, 9-1-1); with four, they’ll have it to themselves.
Whoever earns the No. 1 seed for the CCC Tournament — to be held Nov. 7-10 in Springfield — will also get an automatic berth in the 31-team NAIA Tournament, the opening round of which takes place Nov. 17 on campus sites across the country. If the Raiders and Corban finish as co-champions, the tiebreaker will go to the team that has allowed fewer goals in CCC play; to this point, the Raiders have given up two and the Warriors four.
NAIA Top 25
SOU made a five-spot improvement for the second week in a row in Tuesday’s NAIA Top 25 coaches’ poll, going to No. 14. Corban — which suffered a costly loss last week at Eastern Oregon — went from 10th to 16th, and Rocky Mountain (Mont.) dropped out of the poll entirely after a stunning defeat against Warner Pacific that made the Bears 8-3 in the CCC.
The significance of the rankings is in the eyes of the NAIA Soccer Championship Committee, which will determine at-large bids for the NAIA Tournament and select the 15 opening-round hosts for the second year in a row. In addition to the coaches’ poll, the committee will consider the NAIA MRPI computer rankings. SOU was 27th in the latest MRPI rankings on Oct. 17, but another poll will be released Nov. 9.
The Raiders have yet to trail during their 14-game unbeaten streak, which has spanned a total of 1,280 minutes.
SOU ranks third in the NAIA in total shutouts with 11. The Raiders shut out 12 opponents last year, the second-most in the NAIA.
Over their last 12 games, only two opponents have registered 10 or more shot attempts against the Raiders.
Noah Addie joined Carlos Magana as the only Raiders to score 10 goals in a season since the team started in 2015. In conference play, Addie’s eight goals are one behind the CCC lead.
Zac Hansen’s six assists lead the team. He picked up his fourth in CCC action in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Oregon Tech, tying him for fourth on the circuit leaderboard.
The Argos have picked up one win over their last four games. They’ve been shut out twice in CCC play, by Corban and Rocky Mountain.
They’ve outscored opponents 25-14 this season, carried offensively by Geoge Holloway (6 goals, 3 assists), Adrian Gomez (4 goals, 4 assists) and Gudmundur Gudmundsson (2 goals, 7 assists).
SOU is 2-1 in the series with Providence, having won the last two matchups.
The Saints have outscored opponents 35-22 but got 23 of the goals against Walla Walla and Multnomah. Those are also the only CCC squads they’ve kept off the board.
Jose Porras is the team’s leader with eight goals and six assists; Terry Cox owns four goals. The Saints have had issues at the keeper position with a save percentage of just .656.
SOU is 2-1-1 against the Saints and defeated them last year in overtime, 2-1, on Mitchell Pinney’s goal in the 100th minute that clinched the CCC title.