Creswell, Sports Zone

Boys’ soccer earns state bid, honors seniors

It’s on to state playoffs for the Creswell boys’ soccer team, after the Bulldogs bested visiting Pleasant Hill 1-0 in a 3A/2A/1A Special District 3 playoff game on Oct. 27 to earn the district’s second seed to state.
Julian Nuñez scored the lone goal during the game’s first 10 minutes, assisted by Christian Tucker.
“The guys were moving the ball around and talking more. The score did not reflect what the score should have been,” said Creswell Head Coach Brandi Wittenborn. “We had so many opportunities — so many shots that just missed going in. That’s been the story of our season: outshooting our opponents but unlucky touches on the ball.”
Goalkeeper Jaxson Wilkerson made 13 saves for the Bulldogs — 10 in the second half as the Billies stepped up their efforts to score. “He had a great game,” Wittenborn said.
As league champion, Santiam Christian (9-2-1) was the district’s first seed to state. Creswell finished second in league standings, while Pleasant Hill and East Linn Christian tied for third. Pleasant Hill defeated ELC 3-1 in a first-round league playoff game on Oct. 25 to earn the matchup with the Bulldogs.
The Dawgs wrapped regular season play with a 5-0 Senior Night shutout of visiting Jefferson on Oct. 22.
Tucker scored on a penalty kick after Nuñez was fouled in the box and Creswell was up 1-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Nuñez scored off an assist from Javier Fregoso; Tucker scored, assisted by Avel Garcia-Fetter; Nuñez scored again, assisted by José Ayala; and Garcia-Fetter scored off an assist from Miguel Lopez.
Wilkerson had four saves in goal.
After the game, the Dawgs honored seniors Tucker, Garcia-Fetter, Nick Bronson, Kobe Sanders, Wilkerson, Nuñez and Ayala. Their families presented them with balloons and other gifts as the seniors’ letters of appreciation and favorite soccer memories were read aloud.
Coach Wittenborn also continued her tradition of presenting each senior with a handmade blanket.
The Dawgs also battled Westside Christian to a 2-2 tie in a non league game on Oct. 25.
Dawson Sharkey scored in the first half, assisted by Tucker; in the second half, Nuñez scored with a header, assisted by Rogelio Legorreta.
Wilkerson made seven saves. “Some of those were phenomenal; he had such a great game,” Wittenborn said.
The 15th-ranked Bulldogs travel to meet second-ranked Catlin Gabel for a state playoff game this week. The winner battles the winner of the Dayton-Cascade Christian playoff game in the quarterfinals on Nov. 3.
Sitting low in league standings early in the season, “our guys had to decide what kind of team they wanted to be and how much going to state meant to them; they rallied themselves up, and here we are,” Wittenborn said. “If we play our game, at the top of our ability, I think we can give them a run for their money.”
Follow the Bulldogs’ progress through the 3A/2A/1A Boys’ Soccer State Championships bracket at



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