The Lions top their first TRL opponent in a convincing display

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn's Colton Hefty goes up for a header in the Lions' recent 0-0 tie against Newberg. On Tuesday, the Lions routed Oregon City 4-1 to open up league play. In that game, Hefty scored an important goal on a corner kick to give the Lions a 3-1 advantage in the second half.
The West Linn boys soccer team continues to make significant progress early in the season and it couldn't have gotten off to a much better start to league play.

The Lions knocked off an improved Oregon City team 4-1 on Tuesday, giving the team a boost as it looks toward an important early showdown with Lake Oswego tonight (Thursday.)

West Linn scored early and was in control for much of the game. Jackson Brooke put the Lions on the board, receiving a ball just behind the Pioneers' defense and capitalizing with an impressive finish.

“Jackson is definitely someone that other teams have had to account for this year,” coach Greg Bean said.

West Linn held the advantage in possession for most of the game and stayed under control throughout the contest.

“The kids have bought into the team concept and we have the two best captains I've ever had here in Blake Hepburn and Ryan Barber,” Bean said.

The Lions firmly took control late in the first half. A throw-in deep in Oregon City territory wasn't cleared properly in the goal box and Hepburn took advantage, knocking the ball in to give the team a 2-0 advantage at the half.

However, Oregon City wasn't finished. Early in the second half, the Pioneers earned a free kick and scored, giving the team renewed life.

But the Lions continued to play their game and never relinquished control.

West Linn extended its advantage again when, after earning a corner kick, Colton Hefty curved the ball directly into the net at the back post.

That all but sealed the contest but the Lions weren't content to just sit back and play defense.

“We continued to attack. Oregon City is young and a little small which allowed us to do some things,” Bean said.

West Linn knocked in one final tally in the closing minutes, this time off the foot of freshman Alejandro Lee to put a capper on a satisfying win.

“We've really only put together one complete game this year and this was close to that,” Bean said.

The Lions are off to a strong start this year, going 1-1-2 in the preseason, which included an impressive 3-0 win over a good Tigard squad and a 0-0 tie with Newberg.

“In that Tigard game we saw how we can play at the best of our ability,” Bean said.

West Linn can put itself in very good early positioning if it can come away with a big win tonight against Lake Oswego.

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