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Lancers throw down gauntlet.

Byline: Adam Jude The Register-Guard

P r e p s o c c e r

The focus quickly shifted for Olivia Johnston from Churchill's biggest win to its biggest rival.

The Lancers didn't spend much time celebrating their 2-0 victory over first-place Thurston in Midwestern League girls soccer action Monday at Churchill. Instead, Johnston turned the attention to Churchill's next game against rival North Eugene.

And she can hardly wait.

"North's going down," Johnston said. "If we play like that, North has no chance. We got 'em."

Johnston and Lauren Wiper both scored second-half goals, and the Lancers (4-4-0) entered the playoff picture by knocking off the previously undefeated Colts (5-1-2).

With two games remaining, Churchill is tied with Springfield in fourth place with 12 points, one behind North, which holds the league's third and final playoff position.

"This was huge for us," Churchill coach Alan Cox said. "We now give ourselves a fine chance to get into the playoffs."

After a scoreless first half, Johnston knocked in a rebound shot past Thurston goalkeeper Erin Lewis in the 43rd minute.

"It was perfect," said Johnston, a junior midfielder. "It could not have happened any better. I just had to get in there and put it away."

Churchill didn't let up in the second half, keeping possession for most of the half while outshooting the Colts 7-1.

"I couldn't have asked for anything more," Cox said.

Johnston had a shot deflected that Wiper tapped in for an insurance goal in the 57th minute, helping the Lancers remain unbeaten at home in league play.

"We totally dominated," Johnston said. "We know we're like the best team out there; we just haven't been scoring. It finally clicked."

The Colts had several breakaway opportunities in the first half but couldn't finish. Sophomore Christine Wilson netted the shutout for the Lancers.

All is not lost for Thurston, which maintained its standing atop the playoff race, albeit by one point over Willamette.

North Eugene defeated Churchill 3-1 last month, but Cox believes playing at home on Thursday gives the Lancers a leg up.

"We've gotta make sure we follow what we've just done into Thursday," he said. "North Eugene is a huge rival for us, and we're looking for revenge."

In other MWL games

North Eugene 2, Springfield 0: Esty Geiger scored and assisted on both of the Highlanders goals.

Geiger scored in the 12th minute on an assist by Kendra Castanette. In the 60th minute, Geiger assisted a goal by Katie Kimball. Goalkeeper Stephanie Overholt had six saves for North Eugene.

McKenzie Mann did not play for the Millers because of a knee injury. She scored three goals when Springfield and North Eugene met earlier in the season.

Willamette 4, Marshfield 0: The Wolverines are one point behind Thurston in the league standings after scoring three second-half goals against the Pirates.

Leah Smirl, Eryn Block and Leann Sisco each scored in the second half for Willamette.

Boys soccer

Sky-Em League

Marist 2, Elmira 1: Jack Pennington scored the game-winning goal in the 39th minute as the Spartans tied the Falcons for second place in the Sky-Em League standings at 5-2.

Marist's Bobby Selner scored on a penalty kick in the 36th minute to tie the game after Elmira's Pat Richter scored in the eighth minute.

Tyler Suire had eight saves for the Spartans.

Sisters 2, Cottage Grove 2: Riley Newport and Ande Phillips scored second-half goals for the Outlaws to erase a 2-0 halftime deficit.

Maurcio Lopez scored on a penalty kick in the eighth minute and Martin Hemsoth added a goal in the 12th minute for the Lions.

Pleasant Hill 1, Junction City 0: Marco Baslik scored in the 22nd minute on an assist from Arin White to lead the Billies to a victory.

Pleasant Hill goalkeeper Austin Larson recorded his first shutout and had 13 saves.
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Title Annotation:Sports; Churchill turns its attention to a rematch with North Eugene after knocking off Midwestern League leader Thurston
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 17, 2006
Words:643
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