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Hops head into NWL playoffs; Pilots men play well, but still looking for a win; Johnston likes Winterhawks' improvement

Hops: Hillsboro and Salem-Keizer are going into a best-of-three North Division playoff series, with a berth in the Class A Northwest League finals on the line.

Game 1 is set for Wednesday at Ron Tonkin Field. Game 2 is 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Volcanoes Stadium. Game 3, if necessary, would be in Keizer at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Salem-Keizer won the first-half division title; Hillsboro won the second half. Overall, the Hops were 48-28, the best record in the NWL. The Volcanoes were 46-30.

Hillsboro's Deyni Olivero leads the league and set a Hops record for wins, going 8-3, and his 2.09 ERA also was the best in the league.

Hops outfielder Jesus Marriaga led the NWL and set a club record with 51 runs scored.

The North Division playoff series between the Spokane Indians (45-31) and Tri-City Dust Devils (38-38) starts Wednesday at Spokane. Game 2 is Thursday at Tri-City, which would play host to Game 3 on Friday, if necessary.

College soccer

The results weren't what the Portland men were shooting for: a scoreless draw with Colgate and a 1-0 loss to Coastal Carolina.

Nineteen field players got action for the Pilots, displaying depth that bodes well for a team that opened the season ranked No. 20 in the nation by the United Soccer Coaches.

The Pilots were dominant against the Colgate team, but couldn't score. In the first half, they twice hit the frame and twice had breakaway chances snuffed out by the Raiders' goalkeeper.

Portland's 714 pass attempts and 80-percent completion rate had coach Nick Carlin-Voigt smiling. "We played the game on our terms," he said.

Colgate and Coastal Carolina sat back and played with five defenders, and the Pilots — who have talented, but young, players replacing striker Benji Michel (now in MLS with Orlando City) — struggled to break through. Carlin-Voigt expects more of the same from opponents at Merlo Field, including this week when George Washington visits at 7 p.m. Friday and Davidson at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Carlin-Voigt is seeking more patience in attacking moments and continued strong play in the back and from junior goalkeeper Nico Campuzano, whose five saves last week included a penalty kick stop.

• Oregon State, which was ranked 22nd, also lost to Coastal Carolina (2-1) but beat Colgate (2-1) as the Beavers and Pilots swapped first-week opponents from the East Coast. The Beavers will play host to Davidson on Friday and Pacific (California) on Monday.

• The Portland women (1-1-1) will play their home opener at 1 p.m. Sunday against Denver. The Pilots got a taste of elite competition in a 4-0 loss last weekend in Seattle to No. 2 North Carolina. Portland had not been scored against in its first two games.

• The Oregon State women are 3-0 and will play at home against New Mexico on Thursday and against UC Davis on Sunday.

Winterhawks

The Winterhawks will play their final three preseason games Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Kennewick, Wash., and the priority shifts from player evaluation to implementing team systems. 

Portland went 1-1-0-1 last weekend at Everett, getting three goals in two games from 17-year-old Robbie Fromm-Delorme and two goals and one assist in two games from 17-year-old Seth Jarvis.

The first weekend of preseason games includes veteran players. This week, many of them will be attending NHL prospects camps, so others should get needed experience. For Portland, a strong group of 16-year-olds will use this week to compete for final roster spots.

The Winterhawks have five players attending NHL development camps: forwards Jake Gricius (San Jose) and Reece Newkirk (New York Islanders), defensemen John Ludvig (Florida) and Clay Hanus (Ottawa) and goalie Joel Hofer (St. Louis).

Coach/GM/VP Mike Johnston said he was happy with the skill level he saw in his team during the week of the Neely Cup tournament and then in the three games in Everett.

"You can see we are getting more skilled," Johnston said, pointing to the improved talent and depth on display from players born in 2002, 2003 and 2004. 

Two Winterhawks 2004-born players, forward Kyle Chyzowski and defenseman Ryder Thompson, each played in two games last weekend but have returned to their Midget-level teams for the start of the school year.


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