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by: VERN UYETAKE - West Linn's Blake Hepburn makes a play on the ball during Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Lake Oswego.The West Linn boys soccer team continues to hang with everyone it encounters in the Three Rivers League this year but the team has struggled to put together a run of positive results.

Following the Lions' big win over Clackamas, West Linn earned a draw with Oregon City last week and then fell in a tough 2-1 loss to Lake Oswego on Tuesday.

Against the Lakers, the Lions were slow out of the gate, a potential product of having practice time interrupted due to the recent fire at the school.

Lake Oswego was also fired up to pick up a victory after losing to Lakeridge last week. The Lakers controlled possession for much of the first half and had a number of scoring opportunities, finishing on one of them to take a 1-0 lead at the break.

“The first time we played (Lake Oswego) we felt like they got away with one. They're a lot better than they were and they outplayed us,” coach Greg Bean said.

Lake Oswego went up 2-0 early in the second half but the Lions slowly started to find their rhythm.

Midway through the half Blake Nelson put West Linn on the board with a well-placed goal and the Lions spend the final 20 minutes playing their best soccer of the evening.

“It took us a while to get rolling but he had lots of opportunities in the second half,” Bean said. In the end Lake Oswego was able to hang on for the victory to keep itself in contention for the league title.

The loss followed a 1-1 tie against Oregon City last week.

West Linn got on the board first with a shot by Sammer Stephens. However, the Lions had a chance to take command of the game in the first half but hit the post on three separate occasions.

Oregon City would weather the storm and knotted the game 10 minutes into the second half.

“We're still making the same few mistakes. We know what it is that we're not doing right and it's nothing that's catastrophic because we're still in every game,” Bean said.

The Lions will look to close out the season on positive note and build some momentum heading into a likely play-in game.

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