Four goals from Madison Leek help propel the Lions past the physical Pioneers

The West Linn girls soccer team continued its strong start to the season in its league opener on Tuesday, blasting Oregon City 5-0 on the road.

The Lions took control early, getting a goal from Madison Leek just 30 seconds into the game but didn't play their best soccer in the first half.

The Pioneers played physically with West Linn which rattled the Lions early and prevented them from playing their best soccer.

“They're a very physical team and we weren't playing our type of soccer,” coach Holly Popenuk said.

Oregon City had a handful of chances in the first half but the defense and goalie Dani Moscow held firm to keep the Pioneers off the board.

“We made a few errors defensively and it wasn't our best effort,” Popenuk said.

West Linn would add to its lead midway through the half on another goal from Leek.

Despite the 2-0 advantage at the half, the Lions knew that they could improve and made a pointed effort to not play the Pioneers' type of game.

“We talked about things you can't control and we made an effort to not worry about those things,” Popenuk said.

West Linn has been a rock solid second half team to start the year and that trend continued.

The Lions dominated the second half, taking the pressure of their defense and never giving Oregon City a chance to rally.

“I barely had to talk to them in the second half. In the first half they played about five minutes of really good soccer and in the second half it was a full 40 minutes,” Popenuk said.

West Linn put the game away with three more goals in the second half, getting two more from Leek and one from Katie Moller.

Leek now has 12 goals in just four games this year and is averaging a hat trick per contest.

“(Leek)'s always been great one on one and at finding the seams but now she's doing that while going toward the goal and making it easier on herself,” Popenuk said.

Nicki Zavoshy had two assists in the game and Juliana Guthner added one as well.

“All of our assists were great and helped set Madison up for those chances,” Popenuk said.

West Linn controlled possession and was able to settle into a rhythm in the second half which the Pioneers couldn't answer.

“We just needed to settle the ball down and play more simple passes,” Popenuk said.

While the season is still very early, the Lions have emerged as one of the teams to beat in the league and are currently ranked No. 2 in the state by the OSAA.

The Lions will host Lake Oswego tonight (Thursday) and play Canby at home next Tuesday.

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