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LO coach resigns after soccer game at WLHS

Had Greg Bean been told an hour before his boys soccer team's game against Lake Oswego last Thursday that the contest would end in a tie, he probably would have been very satisfied.

But after what happened in the final minutes of the game and carrying on after the closing whistle, he was left just wanting to forget about the result and quickly move on with the season.

In an exceedingly physical game, the Lions found themselves down 3-1 midway through the second half. On a nice feed in Lake Oswego's goal box, a Laker defender made a hard slide tackle and West Linn was awarded a penalty kick, which Abdelkaddar Elhabbassi easily deposited.

The physical intensity of the game increased as close to 10 cards were issued during the contest, two to West Linn and the rest to Lake Oswego.

Finally, with under two minutes to play in the game, West Linn was awarded a free kick near Lake Oswego's end-line and, before the kick was made it appeared that contact between a Laker defender knocked a West Linn player to the ground as they jockeyed for position and another penalty kick was awarded.

Again Elhabbassi made the shot to tie the game with very little time remaining.

'I felt that the calls were pretty appropriate but, at the same time, I know that if I was on the other bench I would have been feeling pretty empty,' Bean said.

After the game, Lake Oswego coach Colin Stead berated officials and tempers got so heated on the field that the police were called in case the situation escalated.

The referees rushed off the field and Bean was quick to gather his players around him to prepare to shake the Lakers' hands. Although some verbal taunts were thrown in both directions, Bean claimed that he didn't see any physical altercation after the game.

'I was attending to our guys, making sure that they all got off the field so I didn't see everything that went on,' Bean said.

As a result of his actions, Stead resigned days later and Lake Oswego assistant Grant Markham was named the interim head coach.

In the hours and days following the game, Laker and Lions fans commended both Bean and the West Linn players for keeping relatively cool heads in a tense situation.

'I'm terribly proud of our guys because I think they exercised a lot of discipline not to let the game become completely chaotic,' Bean said.

Looking past the unfortunate post-game incident, the tie comes at a good time for the Lions who struggled in three previous league contests.

'It's too bad because (the incident) take the focus off of what we're trying to accomplish. We want to build off the fact that we had an amount of success against a competitive team but we're keeping it in perspective,' Bean said.

After trailing 1-0 at the half, West Linn's Chris Thompson notched the equalizer before Lake Oswego responded to regain the lead. The Lions still struggled to execute at times, especially on defense.

'Two of Lake Oswego's goals absolutely should not have happened. There were breakdowns on our part. We're still looking for more leadership and discipline and we're struggling to put two complete halves together,' Bean said.

However, a draw against a talented, albeit underachieving Lake Oswego team, kept West Linn in fifth place in the Three Rivers League and the young team only expects to get better as the fall rolls on.

The Lions had a bye on Tuesday and it comes at a fortuitous time. West Linn now gears up for an important showdown against Milwaukie.