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Despite several fantastic saves from Canby's keeper, the Lions proved too much in the end

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby's defense struggled against the West Linn attacking pressure in their 4-0 loss on Monday, Oct. 2. It was another tough night for the Canby girls soccer team, as they fell to the visiting West Linn Lions 4-0 on Monday, Oct. 3.

West Linn was very aggressive in the first half. The Lions pressured the Cougars early, with multiple players sending shots into the defenders and just over the cross bar in the 36th minute. In the 34th minute, West Linn sophomore Jill Brody put the ball just inside the far post, past Canby sophomore goalkeeper Halle Adair. A Canby own goal would put the Cougars at a two point deficit.

West Linn would continue to pressure though, and keep Canby on their heels. The first half horn sounded and it was 2-0 in favor of the visiting Lions.

Canby coach Maria VanAcker took the lessons learned in the first half and made changes that would give them more success in the second.

"They put us under pressure pretty quickly," VanAcker said. "We had a few quick mistakes but we bounced back really quickly, we started to mark a lot tighter. We had difficulties getting started offensively, and we made some adjustments at halftime and we started to find a lot of success getting ourselves out of the back which then turned into great offensive opportunities.

"They're great offensively, they overload in the final third, and they had great opportunities that way. In the second half we made some adjustments to make sure that we were defending collectively, and we talked about some different ways to release out of the back," VanAcker added.

Starting the second half, West Linn burst downfield and looked to score in the opening seconds, but Adair made a diving save to keep the Canby deficit at two. For Adair, that save and the myriad of other saves she made, were all part of the training. HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Sophomore goalkeeper Halle Adair may not have had the perfect night, but made several spectacular saves against West Linn on Monday, Oct. 2.

"Mentally, you have to know where you are and what you want to do," Adair said after the game. "You just have to think, 'That's not going to be a goal.' Physically, (coach) John (Madeira) and I work super hard and he trains me and I get my footwork. All the credit goes to John because he's trained me since I was so young, and he taught me everything I know."

Offensively, Canby had more success in the second half. Pushing the ball down into West Linn's turf. In the 37th minute, senior Abby Ragain passed the ball off to Odell, and had it not been for West Linn junior goalkeeper Alyx Burkhartzmeyer sprinting out to kick it away, the breakaway may have resulted in a Canby goal. A similar save made by Burkhartzmeyer a minute later would keep the Cougars off the scoreboard.

In the 31st minute, Canby junior forward Claire Wright took an elbow to the face, and had to step out of the game with a bloody nose. It isn't something the Cougars prefer, but they come ready for a fight.

"We're good with a physical game," VanAcker said. "We talk every day about how every night is a battle, so we're not too concerned."

After those exchanges though, West Linn applied pressure to Canby again. Adair made a fantastic save in the seventh minute, but seconds later West Linn's Rosie Larsen put the ball in the net. Two minutes later, it seemed like de ja vu. Adair made yet another spectacular save, but mere moments later, West Linn scored a massive shot from 20 yards out. Canby had one final chance to nab a goal in the final minutes of the game when Odell put a shot just right of the goal. However, when the horn sounded, it was 4-0 in favor of West Linn.

Canby (0-3 in league, 2-6-1 overall) next plays at Tualatin (3-0-1 in league, 5-2-1 overall) Wednesday, Oct. 4.

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