Lake Oswego boys soccer roars from behind to beat West Linn 3-2
For the entire rest of the world looking on, the Lake Oswego boys soccer team was done.
The Lakers, facing West Linn on Wednesday night at Lake Oswego High School, trailed the Lions by two goals with 18 minutes remaining in their Three Rivers League contest, and at that point, had created just one solid scoring opportunity.
Nobody, however, told Lake Oswego it was over.
The Lakers got their first score on a penalty kick, added the equalizer with less than four minutes remaining, then got the game-winner from freshman Eric Seaman with just five seconds left to play in their amazing come-from-behind 3-2 victory.
"I've never had one that close," said Seaman. "It felt great. It was nice just turning around and everyone was just running at me."
"All the players on this team know most players on that team so it's always a competition and it feels so good to come out with the win," said junior defender Chase Hoffinger.
With the win, the seventh-ranked Lakers improved to 1-1-1 in Three Rivers League play and 5-1-3 overall, while the No. 17 Lions fell to 1-2-0 in TRL play and 2-3-4 overall.
After leading for so long, Monday's loss was a tough result for the Lions to take.
"I definitely think we were the better team for probably 75, 77 minutes, but it all comes down to the last few minutes. That's what counts," said West Linn junior forward Gavin Tinsley, who scored both of his team's goals in the loss. "To come back from two down with 15 minutes left, that's huge, but it's frustrating because it should have been our game."
"Every game's a learning experience. Every mistake, every play — you've got to learn from it," added sophomore defender Michael Phillips. "And next week, we've got games against Tualatin and Lakeridge so we've got to come out harder for those two."
Lake Oswego got the game's first good scoring chance when senior Ryan Seaman took the ball up the left seam, cut toward the goal, took one more touch and drilled a hard shot that just missed left.
After that, however, West Linn began to take control, getting a dangerous chance from junior Adam Beyer that ricocheted off the top right corner of the Lakers' goal with 23:20 remaining in the first half.
The Lions then got the game's first score with 16:12 to go in the half when the ball got knocked around the Lake Oswego penalty box, bounced to Tinsley 10 yards out of goal and he drove it into the net with his right foot for a 1-0 lead.
"I think our attitude and pressure in that first half really put us forward," Phillips said. "I think we just really pressured them ... and when we got that first goal, it really just motivated us even more."
Tinsley nearly scored again with five minutes left in the half when he took a pass from Abdul Ali, took two touches to create a one-on-one chance with Lakers' keeper Payton Olson but saw Olson make the stop to keep the game at 1-0.
West Linn got its second goal 10:22 into the second half following a throw-in that skipped past a Laker defender to Tinsley. Tinsley controlled the ball, turned to put a Lake Oswego defender on his back and scored at the right corner as Olson came out to challenge.
Lake Oswego didn't wilt, however. The Lakers created three shots on goal and two corner kicks in the next four minutes, then finally got on the scoreboard when Ryan Seaman was fouled and senior Chase Cumberland converted the ensuing penalty kick to make it 2-1 with 17:34 left to play.
West Linn nearly answered with 10 minutes left when Olson came out of goal to chase down a long, bouncing pass from West Linn. But when Olson realized Tinsley would reach the ball first, he sprinted back toward his goal, saw Tinsley loop the ball over his head and leapt to barely tip the ball over the crossbar.
"That was a great save," Tinsley said. "I thought I had another one there, too."
Instead, it was Lake Oswego that got the game's next goal, this one on a 15-yard Ryan Seaman shot angled into the goal from the right side of the field that tied the game at 2-2 tie with just 3:28 left on the clock.
And then, with less than 20 seconds remaining, the Lakers pushed the ball into the Lions' half of the field, and saw senior Grant Donaldson send a short pass between three West Linn defenders to Eric Seaman; Seaman turned, saw Lions' keeper Eli Wall charging at him and scored to the right corner of the goal with just five seconds left in the game.
"The ball just came through to me and I saw the keeper coming out so I just kicked it," Seaman said of his second goal of the season.
"Eric did everything he needed to that put us up 3-2 and gave us the win so much credit to him," Hoffinger said.
In upcoming games, Lake Oswego plays at Sherwood at 7 p.m. Tuesday and hosts Canby at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12. West Linn hosts Tualatin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, then plays at Lakeridge at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12.