Sports Zone

Colts blank Eagles as Jones, Raven notch braces

SPRINGFIELD – The Thurston girls soccer team hosted Midwestern League foe Eagle Point on Saturday at Hamlin and beat the Eagles 8-0, moving the fourth-ranked Colts to 8-2 on the season.

The game started flawless for the Colts, as sophomore Richelle Ruhl opened the scoring just four minutes in off an assist from senior Kylie Jones. After the opening goal, Thurston continued to dominate possession but were unable to punch it in multiple times.

The Colts eventually broke through again thanks to an improbable goal from senior Breanna Raven in the 29th minute. Raven shot the ball from an awkward angle on the right side of the box, but the ball hit the top corner of the goalpost and ricocheted in to put Thurston up 2-0.

Raven’s goal opened the floodgates as the Colts scored another two goals in the next five minutes to put them up 4-0 heading into halftime. Raven scored one of those goals off an assist from senior Ella Dzmura, while Jones had the other on a left-footed rocket from just inside the box in the 34th minute.

“I think the mentality was just to get after it and go hard,” said Benton Canaga, Thurston head coach. “Once we really started connecting our passing, and playing wide, I think we really just started dialing it in.”

The second half was more of the same for the Colts as they scored just two minutes in thanks to some beautiful teamwork and passing. Senior Rainey Simmons hit sophomore Alexandria Delpino in the middle, who swung it right to Jones, who snuck it past the Eagle Point goalkeeper to make it 5-0.

Many of the notable players from this game, and this season, are seniors for the Colts. It’s something coach Canaga says makes his life easier.

“I know that they’re just going to perform,” he said. “They just know what we need them to do. And they do it and they execute well.”

One of those seniors is the goalkeeper Gabrielle Gilbert, who after the dominant first half had the luxury of getting in the game on offense. Gilbert scored Thurston’s sixth goal of the game, much to the enjoyment of her teammates.

Thurston added two more goals late, one by senior Abigail Fitzpatrick on an assist by Raven, and one in the 74th minute by Delpino that put the Colts up 8-0, ending the game due to the mercy rule.

The Colts game was their third annual youth game, intended to provide young girls in the area a chance to interact with and watch the high school team play.

“The motivation is just to get the community excited,” Canaga said. “Make it exciting for the younger girls to show support with girls soccer and with the program itself.”

Looking forward, Thurston finds itself in prime position for the playoffs, but faces two top-10 teams this week in North Eugene and Ashland.

“Every coach out there would say their goal is to go to state right,” said Canaga. “But our focus is just one day at a time.”

Colts Top Performers: Breanna Raven 2 goals and 1 assist; Kylie Jones 2 goals and 1 assist; Alexandria Delpino 1 goal and 1 assist; Gabrielle Gilbert, Abigail Fitzpatrick, Richelle Ruhl 1 goal each.



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