Clackamas is the TRL's lone unbeaten team after just two games
It appears that nothing's new in Three Rivers League girls soccer.
In recent years, the TRL title chase has been a dogfight, and it looks like it's going to be that way again this year.
Clackamas finished last week - the first week of league competition - as the only team unbeaten and untied in league, and the Cavaliers' two wins were in close 1-0 games.
In fact the entire league had close games on the league's first two play dates. No game was won by more than a goal.
'The scores have been close,' said Clackamas coach Aimee Mansoor. 'That tells you the league is very competitive. We're happy to be 2-0. It's a long season, and it's going to be a lot of fun.'
Mansoor's Cavaliers won 1-0 at Oregon City on Sept. 20 and 1-0 in a home game with Lakeridge last Thursday.
Mansoor said she was not concerned with her team's struggles to put the ball in the net.
'Our defense has been very sound,' she said. 'I'd be more concerned if the scores were 4-3 or 3-2….'
Sophomore Courtney Cox scored for Clackamas against Oregon City - assisted by senior Stephanie Miller - with 15 minutes to play. Miller took possession of the ball wide and found Cox on the weak side, who one-touched it into the upper corner of the net.
Holly Hunt, another sophomore, put the ball in the net against Lakeridge, once again with about 15 minutes to play. Senior Brooke Salgado centered the ball on a corner kick. Hunt got a foot on it and put it away.
Freshman Jade Haehlen played in-goal in both games and earned the shutouts.
Mansoor had her Cavaliers with a 14-3 advantage in shots on-frame in the Lakeridge game and with an 8-3 edge in the contest with the Pioneers.
'Our whole defense played a very solid game [against Lakeridge], limiting their opportunities,' Mansoor said. 'Our midfielders did a good job of distributing, and the girls did a good job of keeping their composure.'
Mansoor singled out seniors Miller, Maddie Chase, sophomore Kaitlyn Reiner and freshman Riley Mitchell for standout play at the defensive end.
'Maddie Chase did a great job winning balls in the air,' Mansoor said.
In other league games last week, Oregon City won 2-1 at Lake Oswego, Canby defeated West Linn 2-1, Lakeridge tied West Linn 2-2, and Canby tied Lake Oswego 1-1.
Trailing 1-0, Oregon City scored twice in the final 13 minutes to defeat the Lakers.
Senior midfielder Natalie Clegg knotted the score at 1-1 with a shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net from 18 yards out.
Four minutes later, sophomore midfielder Becca Houk put the game-winner away, beating two defenders and blasting the ball into the upper right corner.
Oregon City senior keeper Mikayla Friend earned the shutout.
'The girls fought hard, came from behind, and played very well as a team,' said Oregon City coach Tina Boyd. 'Our goalie made some good saves, and our defense played well together….
'Our girls are working hard and improving in every game. Our league is always competitive, and we will be right there, competing with the other teams.'
Clackamas (2-3-0, 2-0-0) plays West Linn (1-3-1, 0-1-1) on the road this Thursday, while Oregon City (3-2-0, 1-1-0) entertains Canby (3-1-1, 1-0-1).
In nonleague games played last week by area 5A girls teams, Putnam downed Pendleton 9-1, but came up short, losing 1-0 at Hermiston; Milwaukie got shut out by Wilson, 2-0.