Grant Union soccer falls to Umpqua Valley Christian

Grant Union's Nathan Wunz watches as his shot rolls into the net past Umpqua Valley Christian defender Jacob Brint, 4, during the Nov. 4 game at the Seventh Street Complex.

JOHN DAY - The Prospector soccer team couldn't hold out Tuesday afternoon.

Grant Union lost 3-2 to Umpqua Valley Christian in a hard fought game. The loss knocks the Pros out of the Oregon School Activities Association playoffs. It is the third straight season Grant Union has been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. In 2006 they fell 2-0 to Santiam Christian School and in 2007 they lost 2-1 to St. Mary's Academy.

The Pros came out quick during the game. Grant Union's Nathan Wunz put the ball past the Monarch's keeper in the first 10 minutes of the game. However, Umpqua Valley Christian's Mitchell Graham answered with two minutes remaining in the half and the game was tied 1-1 at halftime.

Graham's brother Michael Graham gave the Monarch's their first lead of the game with a header past the Pros' keeper. The lead nearly held out until Wunz helped tie the game with seven minutes remaining.

Michael Graham came up big in the final three minutes of the game. Graham picked off a ball inside the 18-yard box and scored to put the Monarch's up 3-2.

Grant Union went on the attack after the goal and had several close calls including a free kick just outside the 18-yard box and a few corner kicks. Unfortunately for the Pros Umpqua Valley Christian pulled their midfield back on defense and managed to hold onto the lead for the win.

"This is the farthest our school has ever gone," George Graham, Monarch's coach and father of Michael and Mitchell Graham, said. "We were ranked twelfth and they were seventh or eighth going in. We knew we could play with them. It's feels phenomenal to do it with this great group of kids including my sons."

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