WL boys clinch league title, host Royal Scots on Saturday
- Matthew Sherman
- West Linn Tidings - Sports
The West Linn boys soccer team put the finishing touches on its league title last week with a 4-1 win over Oregon City and then played the waiting game to see who it would face in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Lions also weren't sure if they had clinched a home playoff game but their No. 16 power ranking was just enough.
West Linn will host McKay on Saturday. The Royal Scots finished fourth in the Central Valley this year and topped Oregon City 3-0 in a play-in game on Tuesday.
"We know they'll have some ball skills and they have a very good kid up front that we'll have to pay attention to," West Linn coach Greg Bean said.
But, on paper, it appears to be a good match-up for the Lions.
The Royal Scots have tended to be more of a possession-oriented team this year and West Linn had fared well against that style this season.
If West Linn is fortunate enough to get past McKay, it would almost assuredly play Sunset, the No. 1 ranked team in the state, next week.
In the preseason West Linn fell to the Apollos 4-1 but played them evenly through the first half.
"We're certainly not looking past McKay in any way but we're not afraid of our path. It's nice to have a known quantity in front of you," Bean said.
The Lions sewed up sole possession of their first Three Rivers League title in more than a decade last week, overcoming a lackluster start to put the Pioneers away.
It took West Linn some time to warm up in the opening 20 minutes of play.
"We didn't look like ourselves. We were just unsettled. The first time we played Oregon City we had four goals in the first 20 minutes," Bean said.
The Lions then got a goal from Danny Tudorache and that sparked the team.
West Linn dominated the final 10 minutes of the first half and the opening 10 minutes of the second half en route to a 4-1 win.
In the second half, senior defender Max Dimm was moved forward and was taken down the box for a penalty kick.
He scored the shot for his first high school goal, putting the finishing touches on the regular season.
It wasn't all good news for the Lions though as, in the game, Sammers Stephens broke his wrist and is done for the year and Rahul Gates suffered a concussion and is questionable for this Saturday's game.