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Boys soccer team races to 3-0 start in TRL

After 1-0 win over then-No. 1 Lake Oswego, West Linn hammers Canby 7-0


by: MATT SHERMAN - West Linn's Kegan Wesley looks to make a pass on an attack for the Lions during the team's 1-0 win over Lake Oswego last week. The Lions scored in the final minute of the first half to seal the victory.Last week the West Linn boys soccer team picked up its biggest win of the year to date, knocking off rival Lake Oswego 1-0 to stay unbeaten in league play.

Coming out of the preseason, the Lakers were ranked No. 1 in the state due to a 4-0 record and their strength of schedule but the team has stubbed its toe to start the season, failing to score a goal in a tie with Lakeridge and the loss to the Lions.

But West Linn's victory was well-earned. The Lions controlled possession for the majority of the contest and were the aggressors for most of the game, particularly in the first half.

West Linn dominated the first 15 minutes, putting early pressure on the Lake Oswego defense.

Duncan Prince had an early shot miss wide and a nice pass from Kegan Wesley to Jackson Brooke led to a narrow miss wide of the net.

Midway through the first half, Lake Oswego started to settle in and began to create some chances through its dangerous counter attack.

The Lakers had a shot saved by West Linn goalie Zach Nelson but did a nice job getting back on defense and dealing with Lake Oswego's speedy forwards.

West Linn controlled the final minutes of the first half as well. Wesley had a hard shot that was turned away by the Lake Oswego goalie and Alejandro Lee made a terrific run, beating a handful of defenders before eventually taking a shot that was deflected out for a corner kick.

In the closing seconds of the half, West Linn earned a throw-in deep in Lake Oswego territory. The ball found its way to Ryan Barber who chested it down to his feet and scored to the far post with just 15 seconds left on the clock.

Lake Oswego started the second half quickly with some early pressure in the opening 10 minutes but the Lions' defense held firm.

West Linn continued to attack and nearly made it 2-0 when a free kick was uncleared, but the Lions couldn't capitalize in the ensuing scramble.

The Lions continued to hold the advantage in possession and had two late opportunities from Brooke which nearly missed.

West Linn's defense made one final stand in the final two minutes, fending off the Lakers and clinching a hugely important win.

The Lions stayed unbeaten on Tuesday and put on a show in the process.

West Linn racked up a 7-0 victory over 0-3 Canby, dominating the contest from start to finish to stay alone in first place in the TRL.

The Lions will travel to play Lakeridge tonight (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m. Lakeridge is 1-1-1 in league and coming off a 1-0 win over Oregon City.

Meanwhile, the West Linn girls team also racked up a pair of big victories to quickly ascend in the Three Rivers League standings.

On Thursday, West Linn knocked off Lake Oswego 1-0 in a close and well-fought contest.

It was a back and forth contest and the Lions had a handful of chances late in the first half that they failed to convert on.

“We just told the girls that we’re right there and not to let up,” coach Kelli Cronkrite said.

The Lions continued to be denied early in the second half but, with less than 10 minutes to play, Katie Moller found the back of the net to lift West Linn to a much-needed victory.

On Tuesday, West Linn fell behind to Canby 1-0 midway through the first half but that goal seemed to spark the team.

The Lions responded with three straight goals, taking a 3-1 lead early in the second half. However, the Cougars battled back, knocking in a goal off a free kick setting up a frenzied finish.

“The last 10 or 15 minutes we were able to settle down but we got caught up in the intensity and it took us away from what we were doing,” Cronkrite said.

West Linn will take on Lakeridge at home tonight (Thursday) and will wrap up the first half of league play next week against Clackamas.

“Every team in our league appears to be very different which is good. Each game for us, we’ve gotten a little better,” Cronkrite said.




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