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The strength of the Three Rivers League is apparent as Canby drops a pair of matches; eye No. 2 Lakeridge Wednesday

The gauntlet that is the Three Rivers League boys soccer schedule continued to take a toll on the Canby High boys soccer team.

The Cougars fell to 1-5 in league play after struggling through a pair of defeats – 7-3 to Tigard on Oct. 27 and 5-1 to West Lin on Oct. 29.

"Monday at Tigard we struggled to come out with the right mindset and paid early on," coach Ryan McCormack said. "Tigard went up 2-0 quickly on a few mistakes, one of which resulted in a PK for Tigard."

the Herald-Pioneer.

Canby responded quickly, though, when junior Vladimir Bernal Lopez intercepted a pass from the goalkeeper and converted that miscue into a goal to make it 2-1, which is how it stayed into halftime.

Tigard struck early in the second half to go up 3-1, but Canby once again answered with a goal, this time from junior Mario Bautista off a nice Bernal cross to make it 3-2.

"After that, we struggled defensively," McCormack said. "The game got away from us and the final was 7-3 after junior Heladio Vera scored an amazing goal from 25 yards out after a pass from senior Alan Ojeda."

Two days later, the Cougars were in for another tough outing.

"Again, our schedule is one of the toughest in the state and of course West Linn is always a strong program," McCormack said. "They controlled the game from start to finish, though I was happy with our improvements on defense.

"The star of the game, though, was senior goalkeeper David Villegas," McCormack added. "He made 12 saves during the game, which is very high for a goalkeeper. Many of them were showstoppers. When he subbed out towards the end of the game, the crowd gave him a standing ovation and it was absolutely well deserved."

Things don't get any easier when the Cougars take to its home turf on Wednesday to play second-ranked Lakeridge.

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