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EOU men keep playoff hopes alive


Eastern Oregon's Ethan Ronquillo, left, and Northwest Christian's Juan Acevedo go up for a header during the Mountaineers' 3-2 win over the Beacons Friday. (Ronald Bond, The Observer)

The Eastern Oregon men’s soccer team still has hope for a berth in the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament.

EOU raced out to a 3-0 lead, then watched as Northwest Christian closed to within one before the Mountaineers held on for a 3-2 home win Friday afternoon.

Julian Wells took a feed from Josh Goodman and scored to put EOU ahead 1-0 in the 18th minute. The lead held until the half, and Goodman pushed it to 2-0 in the early stages of the second half, putting a shot off the left post and into the net. Alex Gutierrez scored 10 minutes later, and it appeared EOU was on its way to a blowout.

But the Beacons rallied. Sanad Elghanai put in a penalty kick in the 70th minute to get NCU on the board, and Victor Irechukwu scored in the 83rd to draw the Beacons closer. Northwest Christian had additional chances in the closing minutes, but couldn’t find the equalizer.

EOU held a 16-10 edge in shots, and Aidan Wright recorded four saves for the Mountaineers.

Eastern, which moved to 5-6-1 in the CCC, still needs a win over Corban Saturday and help to reach the CCC tournament. College of Idaho took over the eighth and final spot late Friday with a 3-2 win at Northwest. EOU would need a win and a loss by C of I (6-6-0 in the CCC) to earn the bid.