Concordia women set to host NCAA soccer playoffs
Concordia's women won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship last week, beating higher-ranked Western Washington 2-1 in overtime in the tournament final at Concordia. Sydney Van Steenberge finished a Kyra Radcliffe cross with 35 seconds left in the first OT for the golden goal.
Now the Cavaliers (14-1-3) move on to the NCAA Division II championships — at home.
Concordia's first-round game is at 2 p.m. Thursday at Tuominen Yard on the CU campus against Seattle Pacific, a GNAC foe the Cavs edged 2-1 in last week's league semifinals. In the 11 a.m. Thursday semifinal, Western Washington will face Sonoma State.
The winners will meet at Concordia at 2 p.m. Saturday.
• Michelle French's first season as the Portland Pilots women's coach ended with a 1-0 loss at Gonzaga. Still, it was an encouraging season for the once powerful program. Portland finished 11-9 overall, and 4-5 and tied for sixth in the WCC. The Pilots' 30 goals were 19 more than the previous season. Given time to recruit her own players, there is reason to be optimistic that French soon can have the Pilots competing again for conference titles.
• The Oregon State men are second in the Pac-12 behind Stanford and will wrap up the regular season with a Friday game at Washington. First-year coach Terry Boss, a Philomath native who was associate head coach at traditional soccer power Virginia, has quickly made the Beavers competitive. They are 5-0-1 in their last six matches — including a win over Stanford. If not for a pair of 1-0 road losses to San Diego State and UCLA over four days in early October, the Beavers would be closing in on a Pac-12 title. They trail Stanford by three points. The Cardinal can clinch the Pac-12 with a home win or draw on Thursday against Cal.
The Oregon Ducks, ranked 17th in the nation and 20th in RPI, visit No. 2 Stanford at 8 p.m. Thursday. The Ducks' two remaining home matches in the regular season are against Utah and Colorado, Nov. 14 and 16, both at 7 p.m. Oregon and Washington State are tied for third in the Pac-12 at 9-5. Stanford is 14-0, USC 10-4. Arizona, Washington and UCLA share fifth place at 7-7.
• The Portland Pilots have three home matches remaining. They'll be at Chiles Center against Saint Mary's at 7 p.m. Thursday, vs. Pacific at noon Sunday and vs. Gonzaga at 7 p.m. Nov. 20. The Pilots (18-7 overall, 6-7 West Coast Conference) are sixth in their 10-team league but ahead of their 2017 final marks (15-15, 6-12).
No. 12/16 Whitworth (8-0 overall, 6-0 league) has wrapped up at least a share of the Northwest Conference title and can claim it outright with a win at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Willamette.
Linfield (6-2, 5-1) plays host to Pacific (5-4, 4-2 at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Wildcats, ranked 23rd in NCAA Division III last week and fifth in the West region, are going for their sixth win in a row and a berth in the 32-team national playoffs. They won 47-41 at Puget Sound on Saturday on McMinnville High grad and sophomore QB Wyatt Smith's 59-yard touchdown pass to J.D. Lasswell with 35 seconds remaining.
Lewis & Clark (2-6, 1-5) plays host to Pacific Lutheran (3-5, 2-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday. Puget Sound (5-4, 3-3) is at George Fox (5-4, 3-3).
Mike Riley has put together a coaching staff with the San Antonio Commanders of the Alliance of American Football that has a few familar names to Oregon State fans.
Former OSU players Lyle Moevao and James Rodgers are among the eight assistant coaches Riley will have on his staff with the Commanders, who will participate in the new eight-team pro league that will begin play next February.
Moevao, quarterbacks coach at Lewis & Clark, will coach quarterbacks while Rodgers, director of player development at Oregon State, will coach running backs for the Commanders. Jeff McInerny, who coached the defensive line under Riley at OSU in 1998, will coach the D-line and special teams for San Antonio.
Riley, who serves as an analyst for Coach Jonathan Smith's Beavers, is head coach and offensive coordinator with the new San Antonio franchise.
Portland's summer college wood-bat baseball team will begin its second West Coast League season, and fourth year overall, at Walker Stadium on June 4. The Pickles' first series will be a three-gamer at home against the Port Angeles Lefties.
The Pickles will be part of a six-team South Division to include the new Ridgefield Raptors along with the defending WCL champion Corvallis Knights, the Bend Elks, Cowlitz Black Bears and Walla Walla Sweets.
The North Division will consist of the Bellingham Bells, Kelowna Falcons, Port Angeles, Victoria HarbourCats, Wenatchee AppleSox and Yakima Valley Pippins.
The Pickles' schedule includes a July 2-4 series with Corvallis, with one of the games in Portland (July 3), and three more games between the rival clubs July 24-26 (the first and third games at Walker Stadium).
The Pickles' regular-season finale will be on Aug. 11 against Cowlitz, also at Walker.
The league's Home Run Derby and All-Star Game are set for Bend on July 22 and 23, respectively.
Veteran outside hitter Kim Hill from Portland Christian High was a key player again for Team USA, which settled for fifth place in the recent world championships in Japan.
The 6-4 Hill, 28, scored a match-best 25 points in the fifth-place match with the host Japanese, won by the U.S. in four sets.
Losses to third-place China and then fourth-place Netherlands prevented the U.S. from repeating its title from 2014, when Hill was tournament MVP. Serbia beat Italy for the gold medal.
Hill shared the team lead in tourney points this year and was first on the squad in kills and hitting percentage.
Now Hill is back in Europe, competing for Italian club Imoco Volley Conegliano.
• Former Oregon Ducks libero Amanda Benson, who has had national team duty, is plahing for Dresdner SC in the German Bundesliga.