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Junior Francisco Cabello scored two goals and assisted another in Cougars 3-1 victory

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Canby junior Francisco Cabello races down the field Thursday against Tualatin.

After missing the first week of the season, Francisco Cabello showed what he means to the Canby boys soccer team.

The junior midfielder scored two goals and assisted another as the Cougars won 3-1 at Lakeridge last Tuesday to open Three Rivers League play.

"My goal was to score the first goal," Cabello said after Canby was shut out in its first two games. "I was pretty hungry for that."

Cabello scored the Cougars first goal of the season about 20 minutes into Tuesday's game. After stealing the ball from the center midfielder on a slide tackle, Cabello jumped up and finished the ball into the back of the net.

"The first one was from a terrible angle," Canby coach Ryan McCormack said. "I'm not even sure how he got it in."

The Cougars led 1-0 at halftime, but Lakeridge scored in the first minute to quickly tie the game.

With 26 minutes remaining, Canby sophomore Riley Hemsi-Walters stole the ball and found Cabello 1-on-1 with the goalie to give the Cougars a 2-1 lead.

"It was a beautiful, amazing play," McCormack said. "Riley played him such a perfect ball."

With four minutes remaining, Cabello beat his defender down the sideline and passed the ball across to Sergio Rodriguez, who finished to extend Canby's lead to 3-1.

"He covers so much ground so quickly," McCormack said of Cabello. "It's pretty incredible. He's just a catalyst. He's a total game changer."

McCormack also liked the improvement he has seen from the Cougars' defense.

"The defense is really starting to come together, which is great and really our foundational piece that we're trying to build off of," he said.

Goalkeeper Zachary Heidema is a big part of that.

"The systems that we've been implementing in practice all finally came together and all the pieces fell into place," Heidema said.

Canby had not defeated Lakeridge in the past six seasons.

"It was a big relief and it was definitely due," Canby senior and captain Ian Quinlan said of the Cougars earning their first win of the season. "We needed it more than anything. It was a confidence booster for the team. It showed us what we can do if we play our game and if we do what we're taught in practice, we can go out and get some wins."

Canby could not carry over the momentum into Thursday's game as the Cougars lost at home 1-0 to Tualatin.

"The next level for us is just starting to believe that we can do this and start holding ourselves accountable to the highest level," McCormack said. "That's the difference right now. Once we do that, I think we'll be pretty solid."

Derek Wiley
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