After losing eight straight games, the Cougars fight back to get draw against Timberwolves

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby senior Kristopher Lopez leads a counterattack against the Tualatin Timberwolves. The Cougars drew with the visiting team 2-2 to end an eight game losing streak. Canby—They may not have gotten the win, but the Canby boys soccer team snapped an eight game losing streak that stretched back to Sept. 7. This past Wednesday, they battled the visiting Tualatin Timberwolves to a 2-2 draw.

Going into the game, the team switched up their preparation style. Instead of specific plays, they went with gameplay simulation.

"We used to do a lot of tactics, but we do a lot of scrimmages, a lot of the JV against the varsity, and you learn the game when you play," coach Won A Park said.

For the opening minutes of the game, the teams battled evenly about the midfield. In the 28th minute, senior Joe Thompson made an illegal tackle inside the penalty box and a free kick was awarded to Tualatin. Tualatin junior Mario Quitiero put the ball past Canby junior keeper Jesus Gomez, and the Timberwolves were up 1-0.

Coach Ivan Munoz believed that the Cougars could compete with anyone in the league, but mistakes like the ill-advised tackle prevent them from capitalizing.

"The team is not playing bad," Munoz said. "It's like I tell the boys after every game, we're not playing bad. We make poor mistakes that cost us a game. The scoreboard says the opponent was better than us, but on the field I honestly believe that's not the case. We play equal, we play toe to toe. The problem is we make poor mistakes."

Canby sophomore Ian Quinlan would try to even things up a minute later, but would send his shot over the goal after streaking away. In the 25th minute Quinlan would miss another opportunity, but Canby was pressuring well. In the 21st minute, Thompson would be tackled on the 13 yard line by the Tualatin defense to prevent a possible shot on goal, and the resulting free kick from Canby junior David Bernal would be deflected out.

In the final minute of the first half, Thompson was tackled yet again close to the Tualatin goal, and this time garnered the Cougars a penalty kick of their own. Thompson drilled the shot, and the game was tied up 1-1 going into halftime.

Starting the second half, Tualatin pushed forward and Canby's Gomez made a solid save in the opening minute, and defended away a Timberwolves corner kick a minute later.

"The only thing is the ball, I've just got to get the ball," Gomez said of the save afterwards. "That's the most important thing. You've got to always come out to the ball, not wait, not stutter, you've just got to come out hard."

In the 32nd minute, Canby's Jose Antonio Garcia sent a shot sky high and it ended up bouncing off the football goalposts. Five minutes later, Canby junior David Bernal sent a booming kick into the hands of the hands of the Timberwolves keeper. In the same minute, a shot from Canby team captain Riley Jones was deflected off a defender and swept up by the goalie.

Tualatin junior Richy Olguin would score off a header in the 14th minute, and give the Timberwolves a 2-1 lead late in the game. Not to be deterred, three minutes later Canby's Quinlan floated it to Thompson who put the ball in the left hand corner of the goal, and would again even it up, this time at two goals all. Quinlan almost got a goal in the final seconds of the match, but when the horn sounded it was a draw.

"I want them to learn to never give up," Munoz said. "I'm proud of my boys and I love coaching them, and if we keep working they will get somewhere. Today, we didn't give up."

Resilience in the face of adversity was the theme of the night. Multiple players and coaches mentioned it post game, including senior team captain Riley Jones.

"I think we played with more confidence," Jones said. "Usually when we get a goal scored on us, we usually tend to be negative and put our heads down, but today we didn't give up. We stuck through, got another goal and tied it up. They scored another goal unfortunately, but we pursued and got a second goal to tie it up."

"I think we could have got a third goal and won it, but it feels good to not lose again," Jones added.

Canby (0-2-1 in league, 1-8-1 overall) will look to get on the winning track when they travel to Newberg (3-0 in league, 7-2-1 overall) on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

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