The Pioneers drop their cross-river rivals, and they battle to a 2-2 standoff with Canby

by: JON HOUSE - Freshman Maddy Griffith (left) and senior Sitera Allison (22) celebrate a goal in last weeks game with Canby. Griffith scored both of Oregon Citys goals in a 2-2 tie.Oregon City High School coeds made some waves in Three Rivers League soccer last week, defeating cross-river rival West Linn 2-1 and battling to a 2-2 standoff with Canby in their league openers.

The Pioneers (4-0-1, 1-0-1) remained unbeaten on the season heading into play this week, and they were tied with Clackamas (1-3-1, 1-0-1) for first place in a highly competitive TRL.

“[West Linn] was our first conference win in some time...,” said Oregon City coach Becket Wright. “This is a unified team with a unified goal. The girls are on track to really surprise people this year. Our roster is talented and deep....”

The Pioneers, who went 0-9-1 in league last fall, last won a league game on Sept. 29 of 2011, when they defeated Canby 4-3. They hadn’t beaten West Linn since Oct. 14 of 2008, when they topped their rivals 2-1, finished second in the TRL — with an 8-3-1 record, and advancing to the Class 6A quarterfinals.

The OSAA power rankings had Oregon City ranked ninth in the state following last Thursday’s game with Canby.

Last week’s game with the Lions, at West Linn, was a battle. The two teams went scoreless in the second half.

Heroine honors went to senior midfielder Courtney Phelps, who put a free kick away from 35 yards out 13 minutes before halftime

Senior midfielder Sitera Allison beat West Linn’s keeper one-on-one near the midpoint of the first half to knot the score at 1-1.

“West Linn scored just six minutes into the game,” Wright observed. “The girls didn’t drop their heads, but dug in and started getting to work.... The game got aggressive in the second half, but the girls stayed cool and didn’t buy into the panic of the game....

“Exceptional defense allowed us to hold the game to 2-1. We welcomed back senior defender Marley Melhus to the field after injury and illness that had kept her out the whole season. This was a team win. Every person on the roster contributed to the team play and the win.”

Freshman Maddy Griffith scored both of Oregon City’s goals against Canby. Senior keeper Lizzy Coryell made seven saves.

“It was a tough game for us,” said Wright. “We had a little trouble with the execution of passes.”

The Pioneers face a stiff challenge this Thursday, when they face 2012 state finalist Clackamas on the road. Oregon City has an away game with Lake Oswego (3-2-1, 1-1-0) next Tuesday.

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