Oregon’s defense is playing on another level.
The Panthers pitched their sixth straight shutout in a 7-0 win over Milton in a nonconference boys soccer game on Tuesday, Sept. 28, at Anderson Field in Milton.
The last time Oregon surrendered a goal was 17 days from Tuesday on Sept. 11.
“I feel like we (defense) know our shape really well,” said senior Alex Rodriguez, who scored a hat trick in the victory. “We know how to rotate really well and how to cover.”
While Oregon’s defense is playing at another level, so is Rodriguez.
The senior scored two goals in the first half and added a third after the break. All three of Rodriguez’s goals came off rebounds.
“He is playing at a whole new level this year,” Oregon head coach Chris Mitchell said. “He didn’t play for three games or so, he had a bum foot.
Mitchell said Rodriguez returned last Saturday at about 75% health after missing a few games due to the injury.
“You never know what’s going to happen when that dude gets the ball,” Mitchell said. “He gets a head of steam and he’ll draw two or three defenders.”
The Panthers (11-0-2) got on the board in the 11th minute when Rodriguez chipped a goal over the Milton goalie after corralling a blocked shot. Rodriguez made it 2-0 in the 28th when he scored off a free kick attempt that was blocked.
Junior Noah Malcook assisted on a score from Max Westfield in the 35th to give the Panthers their 3-0 halftime advantage.
Out of the break, Malcook got a goal for himself in the 47th. A minute later in the 48th, Rodriguez once again was in the right place at the right time as the senior headed in a rebound to extend the lead to 5-0.
“I was just hungry to score,” Rodriguez said. “I just wanted them in the back of the net.”
Westfield and Max Higgins both netted goals in the final five minutes to cap off the scoring.
Malcook finished with three assists on the night.
“We just feel really good about the weapons that we have offensively,” Mitchell said. “Like coach (Kevin) May just said, we can actually afford to have a couple guys that don’t have their best games and still feel really good about our team play.”
The Red Hawks (4-8-0) mustered just two shots on goal on the Panther defense.
The clean sheet also was Oregon’s fifth straight against Milton. The Red Hawks have not scored on the Panthers in five matchups since the 2017 season.
Oregon 4, Hudson 0
The Panthers (12-0-2) made it seven straight clean sheets as Oregon topped Hudson in a nonconference contest Friday, Oct. 1, at Oregon High School.
Malcook and Rodriguez both netted goals in the victory. Kellen Diercks and Mitchell Compton also added scores.
Hudson came into the match the No. 9-ranked team in Division 1 with a 9-0-2 record.
Oregon 6, Eau Claire Memorial 2
Oregon gave up its first goal since Sept. 11, but still managed to earn a convincing nonconference victory over Eau Claire Memorial on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Sun Prairie High School.
Rodriguez continued his impressive play with four goals for the Panthers. Mason Diercks added two scores in the victory.
Oregon remains unbeaten on the year with the win, moving to 13-0-2.