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The Cougars will try to build on their recent success with a roster that includes three returning all-league honorees and 10 new varsity players.

by: JEFF GOODMAN / FILE - Olivia Baggerly is one of several returning seniors for the Canby girls soccer team this year. Last season, the Cougars advanced past the second round of the state playoffs for the first time in program history.The Canby girls soccer team entered the season riding the momentum of having advanced past the second round of the state playoffs for the first time in school history.

As the Cougars have learned in just a few nonconference games, however, it won’t be easy to build on that kind of success.

They were thrashed 10-0 by Jesuit in their Sept. 3 opener and handled 6-2 two days later by Portland-Grant — the team that eliminated them from the postseason last year — providing evidence that they have plenty of work to do before they start talking about another deep run in the playoffs.

Canby coach Ben Winegar, for one, expected some of the growing pains.

He knew the team would be without star forward Karley Baggerly, who is now in the regular rotation on the Gonzaga women’s soccer team. He was prepared to lose seven other seniors, including key starters.

“We have many new players this year, and we’re just getting a feel for each other,” he said.

Unfortunately for Winegar’s program, other high-impact setbacks came more abruptly.

Madison Shorter, who had a standout freshman season last fall, will miss the 2013 campaign after sustaining an injury in the club ranks this spring.

Returning goalkeeper Brynn Stegmeier suffered a season-ending injury in the Sept. 5 loss to Grant, putting new varsity member Heoniya Sharabarin in the box.

Indeed, Canby will likely need contributions from many of its inexperienced players to make up for the 10 it lost to graduation and injury.

“I’ll be interested to see which players step up in the weeks to come,” Winegar said, “because there are a few right on the doorstep.”

In the meantime, the Cougars (1-2) will likely rely on their veterans for leadership and production. Olivia Baggerly will “take on many roles on the field and be a huge part of our success,” Winegar said, while fellow seniors Ashley Evans, Chloe Bell and Morgan Meisenheimer will help create and finish scoring opportunities. Brianna Crawford and Lilly Pruitt, the squad’s other two graduating players, provide additional experience.

Junior forward Whitney Davis, meanwhile, appears primed for a solid season after notching a hat trick in Canby’s 3-0 shutout of Portland-Westview on the road Sept. 9. Baggerly assisted on all three goals.

That victory was encouraging for the Cougars, who had been outscored 16-2 in their first two losses.

“Jesuit was a team that had all juniors and seniors minus two players, and after about 5 minutes they were all over us,” Winegar said. “We did get a lot of good lessons out of it and a lot of great film.

“In the Grant game, we had many defensive breakdowns, and we’re still working on our team chemistry and reading the plays. We got caught with numbers going forward that didn’t need to be there and were burned on counters and poor offensive turnovers.

“In the Westview game, we settled in a bit. They had a few chances that Heoniya did well to keep out, but we did a good job controlling the tempo of the game. Until the last 10 minutes, we had decent control — much better than the first two games.”

Winegar said his defensive unit is still “searching for an identity” but added it will be more cohesive by the start of the league season, which was slated to begin Sept. 17 at Clackamas.

“They’ve really taken their lumps against great attacking teams, but I believe it’ll pay off very soon,” he said.

A unified defense will probably be important for Canby as it gears up to face opponents in a perennially powerful Three Rivers League. Winegar doesn’t know what to expect from Oregon City, which has a new coaching staff this year, but he anticipates facing solid sides from Lakeridge, Lake Oswego, Clackamas and West Linn.

“I see the league as a six-horse race,” he said. “Any night, any team can win. The team that does the best will be the one that can be the most consistent and be able to shake off the losses the best.

“I hate to (base goals) on wins and losses because there are too many factors there you can’t control — I only hope we play well enough to not let those factors affect the outcome. We need better balance and possession as well as experience. Those we’re building on every day, and that’s the improvement we need.”




Coach: Ben Winegar

Last year: 11-7 (4-6 in the Three Rivers League); lost 2-1 to Grant in the quarterfinals

Key players: Olivia Baggerly, Ashley Evans, Chloe Bell, Morgan Meisenheimer, Whitney Davis

Key losses: Karley Baggerly, Lauren Morgan, Madison Shorter

Outlook: The Cougars will try to build on their recent success — they advanced past the second round of the state playoffs last year for the first time in program history — with a roster that includes three returning all-league honorees and 10 new varsity players.

First league home game: 7 p.m. Sept. 24 vs. West Linn


9/19     Oregon City #             7 p.m.

9/24     WEST LINN              7 p.m.

9/26     LAKE OSWEGO       7 p.m.

10/1     Lakeridge                    7 p.m.

10/3     CLACKAMAS          7 p.m.

10/8     OREGON CITY        7 p.m.

10/15   West Linn                   7:30 p.m.

10/17   Lake Oswego             7:30 p.m.

10/24   LAKERIDGE             7 p.m.

# at Pioneer Memorial Stadium

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