Given the recent history between the West Linn and Lake Oswego soccer teams, it's probably not entirely unexpected that when the teams squared off for the second time this season, they were both a bit tentative.

In their first contest, the Lions rallied from a late two-goal deficit by knocking in a pair of penalty kicks. After the game, words were exchanged by both teams and Lake Oswego's coach eventually resigned after an angry altercation with the referees.

This time around, there was not incident but it appeared that the earlier game certainly weighed on both teams' minds.

'I think there was a certain amount of hype built up around this game and both teams came out flat,' West Linn coach Greg Bean said.

The entire first half was relatively sluggish. The Lakers managed to score 10 minutes into the contest but no real rhythm could be established by either squad.

'We just didn't get off the bus,' Bean said.

West Linn had a few opportunities in the first 40 minutes but struggled to execute its offensive game plan.

'We didn't really attempt to execute what we had practiced. We knew Lake Oswego would attack the far post and they scored to the far post in 10 minutes,' Bean said.

In the second half, West Linn's struggles continued. Lake Oswego notched a pair of goals in the first 20 minutes of the half.

Finally, with about 15 minutes to play in the game, the Lions showed some life and put together a nice combination which culminated in a goal from Drew Tucker.

'We executed on offense four times in the second half and that resulted in a goal and two other shots on goal,' Bean said.

But it was too little too late for the Lions as the Lakers were able to hold on for the 3-1 victory this time.

It was a tough game for West Linn as, in previous contests, the team has shown marked improvement. But there have still been bright points this year that Bean knows he will be able to build on in future years.

'This was only the second time this season where I've been disappointed with how we've played. But with where we are now, compared to where we were at the beginning of the season, I have high hopes,' Bean said.

The Lions have two more games this season against Milwaukie and Rex Putnam next week after this Thursday's bye.

Both of those teams are firmly entrenched in a battle for a playoff spot but Bean knows that every team the Lions have faced this year, with the exception of Lakeridge, has been beat-able.

'There's no one other than Lakeridge who is really out of our league,' Bean said.

West Linn will look for positive results in those contests to give the team some much needed confidence next year.

'(Confidence) is the biggest issue right now. The next step is winning one of these next two games,' Bean said.

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