Grizzlies toy with 6A Roseburg

    Ashland High boys show solid chemistry in 2-0 nonconference victory
  • As usual, the Ashland High boys soccer team is not lacking in the talent department.
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  • As usual, the Ashland High boys soccer team is not lacking in the talent department. Led by blurry-fast sophomore forward Stenley Graham, crafty senior ball-handler Nick Chouard and always-there senior fullback Gabe Young, the Grizzlies once again appear to have the bodies to earn a high playoff seed.
    But it's how the team plays together that has Young excited.
    "One thing that's really special about this team is it has the best team chemistry of any team I've ever played on," the senior said. "Basically, every single guy on this team has been playing together since we were 11 or 12 years old. "¦ So, we all communicate incredibly well, we all get along super well. We have to work on a few technique things, but the sky's the limit really."
    The Grizzlies showed off some of that chemistry, and potential, Tuesday against Roseburg.
    Playing against a Class 6A foe for the first time this season the Grizzlies aced what was supposed to be a tough test, blanking the Indians 2-0 on the rain-soaked field at Ashland Middle School.
    Young took advantage of a beautiful pass by Chouard to score the first goal of the game in the 29th minute, and senior forward Andres Garcia intercepted a back pass to give the Grizzlies an insurance goal in the 58th, as Ashland improved to 3-1 in nonleague games heading into Saturday's clash with 6A power South Medford.
    Roseburg (1-5) wasted a golden opportunity to cut the margin in half less than a minute after Garcia's goal when Kyle Flagor's penalty kick sailed over the crossbar. That proved to be the Indians' last real chance at challenging the Grizzlies, who dominated the game from start to finish, outshooting Roseburg 24-4, including 17-2 in the second half.
    "We always expect (6A teams) to be really big and strong, but I think we were equal to them in that regard today," Chouard said. "And our defense had a monster game and didn't let anything go by them. Huge credit to our sweeper and fullbacks."
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