Ellie's Army shows up big at Canby soccer game
Ellie Shorter was not missing this game.
"I wanted to be here so badly," the Canby junior said Thursday night, just two days after receiving her first round of chemotherapy to treat Hodgkin's Lymphoma. "It's just so awesome to see the community come together and host this night for me."
While the Cougars ultimately lost the game, 5-3, to Lake Oswego, the night was about much more than soccer.
"The score is just one piece of the game," Canby coach Maria VanAcker said. "The community support and the support from the school and all the parents that made tonight possible was really, really special. It's something that doesn't happen a lot or I've ever seen before. I'm so proud to be apart of a community and a program that has such support."
Players on both sides wore purple ribbon in their hair in honor of Shorter, and the stands were full of students wearing purple Ellie's Army T-shirts.
"Seeing the student section so big, it was as big as a football game on Friday nights," Shorter said. "That's so crazy to see my classmates and my peers so hyped for this game. The businesses that have done things for me and the teachers and the administration, my coach Maria, she's done so much and I'm just so thankful for this night."
The Cougars were also thrilled to have Shorter back with the team after spending three days at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland.
"When she's not here with us, there's a hole on the team," VanAcker said. "It was great to have her back out here. She's a huge part of this program and a tremendous leader."
As for the game, a goal by Lake Oswego freshman Kaitlyn Sasadeusz in the 15th minute gave the Lakers a 1-0 lead.
A header by Canby sophomore Joey Baguio tied the game at 1-1 in the 25th minute, but Sasadeusz struck again late in the first half to give the Lakers a 2-1 advantage at intermission.
Canby sophomore Mallory Scott scored the equalizer less than two minutes into the second half.
But Lake Oswego sophomore Rylee Winn scored on a cross and the Lakers added another goal on a Karoline Shipton free kick to take a 4-2 lead with 21 minutes remaining.
"It was wet and slippery and messy," VanAcker said. "It's difficult to play at night under the lights when it's raining sideways. They're a very high pressure team and Lake Oswego is a great side. They're a very good team. We made some mistakes and they punished us for it. Good teams do. They broke us down and capitalized on some opportunities where we were exposed."
Canby sophomore Makena Speer scored a goal to get the Cougars within 4-3 with 3:30 remaining. But Baguio was then given a red card, and Lake Oswego took advantage of a shorthanded Canby squad to add one more goal and put the Cougars away.
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