West Linn girls soccer sharpens claws in 5-0 win over Tigard
The West Linn girls soccer team is on a roll.
The Lions won for the sixth straight time Thursday, Sept. 28, rolling past Tigard 5-0 at West Linn High School.
"Our work effort and our passing was on key tonight," said sophomore forward Lauren Jones. "We knew they were really physical so we knew we'd have to come out strong."
"We work really hard in practice and worked on finishing … and I think that really helped," said senior midfielder/forward Lauren Adelman, who scored twice and had one assist in the win. "It showed on the field tonight."
With the win, the Lions improved to 3-0-0 in Three Rivers League play (good for a first-place tie with Sherwood) and 8-1-0 overall. Tigard — which played without injured junior star Gabby Brown — lost for a fourth straight time and fell to 0-3-0 in league (tied for eighth with Newberg) and 1-5-2 overall.
"We definitely needed to push the ball up because our defense was kind of falling behind," said Tigard junior forward Kelsie Boschma. "We needed to keep the ball up and, honestly, keep the effort like we did against Sherwood."
"We're all injured and all of us are abused and we need to take better care of our bodies," added senior defender Kyra Medgin. "But we need to push through it, because this is what we came here to do. We came here to play and we came here to win. We didn't get the result we wanted, but we still showed up."
The Lions applied the pressure right from the get-go against Tigard, but the Tigers' defense — led by keeper Natalie Carlson and defenders Medgin, Ava Damis and Alle Stroud — kept West Linn at bay for more than 20 minutes.
Then, with 19:51 remaining in the opening half, Carlson came out of goal to smother a low shot with three Lions on the attack but saw the ball slip away to her right. Adelman was there to collect it near the left post, turned and scored into the open net from five yards out for a 1-0 lead.
West Linn was back in goal just 2:26 later when sophomore Rosie Larsen controlled the ball on the right baseline after a pass from Sophie Conrad, took two touches toward the goal, then angled the ball past Carlson to the near post for a 2-0 lead.
And finally, with 9:16 remaining in the half, Adelman ran down a bouncing pass from Lauryn Swinehart on the left seam that drew Carlson out of goal, then hit a shot past her to the right side of the net for a 3-0 lead.
While the Tigers' scoring chances were virtually non-existent in the first half, Tigard began to match the Lions in possession during the latter portion of the half, then carried that effort into the final 40 minutes as well.
"I think that's something great about Tigard. We always match up with the opponent," Medgin said. "We try our best. We may not be there with the talent, but we put our heart into it."
In the second half, the Lions extended their edge to 4-0 when senior Leah Briggs took the ball across the field in front of the Tigers' goal, then passed to Swinehart on the left baseline. Conrad then drove the ball home from the left side for that four-goal lead with 29:16 left in the game.
To their credit, the Tigers answered with their best offensive stretch of the game in the ensuing five minutes, with Boschma missing a shot just left of goal after tracking down a long pass in the Lions' penalty box, and teammate Sydney Leinberger misfiring to the right side with 20 minutes remaining.
West Linn junior Rae Peters added her team's final score with 16:01 to go on the clock, taking a pass from Adelman and hitting a long, looping shot over Carlson's head to the right post from 25 yards out.
"We wanted to come out strong and we did," Adelman said. "We did a good job and we got everybody in tonight."
"It's been really fun," Jones added. "I think we'll keep doing well and, hopefully, win league. That's our goal."
For their part, the Tigers believe better times are ahead.
"Definitely, I think our season's only going to get better because we have two starters on the bench and probably one of them is the best in the state right now — Gabby Brown — so she'll be back and we will definitely come out strong with her," Boschma added.
In upcoming games, the Lions play at Tualatin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, while the Tigers host Tualatin at 7 p.m. Oct. 12.