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Cougars lose three of final four games, including 5-0 loss to West Linn to finish season

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Canby senior Ally Odell played her final soccer game for the Cougars Tuesday.

Canby's girls soccer team spent this season focusing on what it could control.

"We can control on how hard we work, how smart we play, our attitudes and how we treat each other and the other teams," Canby coach Maria Vanacker said. "We can't control much other than that."

One thing the Cougars could not control was the OSAA rankings.

Canby (3-9-2 overall and 2-4-1 in the Three Rivers League) finished No. 32 in the final 6A rankings, but were passed by No. 33 McMinnville for the final playoff spot after the Grizzlies finished second in the Pacific Conference to earn an automatic berth.

The Cougars lost three of their final four games, including a 5-0 loss to West Linn on Tuesday at home.

"When it came down to not making the playoffs, it wasn't a matter of us not beating West Linn," VanAcker said. "It was a culmination of the entire season. That's just where we ended up. We did everything in our control. Of course we made mistakes."

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Canby honored its seven seniors before Tuesday's final game against West Linn.

Before the final game, Canby honored its six seniors (Halle Adair, Naarai Gomez Rodriguez, Elizabeth Lyman, Ally Odell, Ellie Kromer and Katie Mull) as well as foreign exchange student Pernelle Dumaine.

"These girls have been a part of the program for a really long time since they were freshmen and have grown up playing in the Canby community," VanAcker said. "They really are pioneers in the success of this program and are really leaving a legacy of building relationships and caring for each other, their respect for the game as well as their work ethic. They've just been phenomenal role models for all of the girls in the program."

The Cougars went 10-6 last year and reached the second round of the playoffs. Despite the drop off this season, VanAcker remained proud of her squad.

"I'm so incredibly proud of this group," she said. "There was so much adversity that these girls faced together. The culmination of this season and having it come to an end, the most emotional part for me is how proud I am of taking on challenges and adversity and playing beyond their means in so many different ways, and I'm just so proud of them and all that they accomplished this year."

Canby will return several key players from this year's team, including sophomore forwards Joey Baguio and Makena Speer.

"This group is relatively young when we think about key contributors," VanAcker said. "We're gaining experience and that's important. This is a journey and not a sprint."

Derek Wiley
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