Sour senior night for WL boys

by: Vern Uyetake, West Linn’s Ryan Squires, right, battles for a loose ball against Milwaukie last Tuesday. The Lions lost the contest 7-1 against the second-place Mustangs. West Linn’s final game of the season is on Thursday against Putnam.

West Linn's difficult season on the pitch continued last Tuesday on senior night as a veteran Milwaukie squad put on a clinic on offense en route to a 7-1 victory.

The Mustangs peppered the Lions' goal, taking an early 4-0 lead. In the first half alone, Milwaukie had 11 shots, eight of which were on goal.

West Linn had the better of the play in the first 10 minutes as the team's five seniors, Colin Weeks, Gilbert Adzasu, Gustava Bessa, Abdelkaddar Elhabbassi and Ryan Falconer were in the starting line-up, but Milwaukie quickly weathered the storm and took over from there.

Fifteen minutes into the game, a pretty cross was sent to the far post where it was easily headed in, which opened the floodgates for the Mustangs.

Six minutes later, a missed clear by the Lions rolled directly to a Milwaukie forward who easily deposited a shot in the goal.

West Linn struggled all night marking the Mustangs' speedy defenders and midfielders and Milwaukie took advantage. The Mustangs were unselfish and made accurate passes throughout the game to control the time of possession.

Ryan Kurtin fired a hard shot just inches off the ground that was saved by Milwaukie's goalie but the Mustangs responded by putting in two more goals in a three-minute period.

Lions goalie Joe Offer had a handful of difficult saves from point blank range, otherwise the deficit may have been even larger.

Finally, with just under three minutes to play in the half, Elhabassi made a run from near midfield, beat three defenders and hit a nice shot into the right side of the net for the Lions' lone score of the evening.

Milwaukie picked up where it left off to start the second half. The Mustangs hit the post just 45 minutes after the whistle sounded and scored four minutes later when miscommunication between Offer and the defense allowed a ball to drop into the box, where a Mustang forward knocked it in.

Five minutes after that, Milwaukie had a one-on-three opportunity but the lone Mustang forward was tripped in the goal box resulting in a penalty kick that was easily scored.

Milwaukie eased off slightly after that point but still ended the game with 20 shots in the contest and scored one more time. With the win the Mustangs moved into second place in the Three Rivers League while the Lions fell to sixth with one more game remaining today (Thursday) at Putnam.

Although it has been somewhat of a trying season for West Linn and first-year coach Greg Bean, there is reason for optimism as the majority of the team expects to return next year.