West Linn boys soccer accelerates past Lake Oswego 4-1 in overtime
Anyone who's ever watched high school soccer knows what overtime looks like.
Each team takes its best shot — briefly — then retreats into its own end, plays defense and hopes to win in penalty kicks.
After Tuesday's game, however, it's clear that no one shared that version of OT with the West Linn boys team.
The Lions scored three goals in overtime and used that outburst to fuel their 4-1 victory over Lake Oswego in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs at West Linn High School.
"I don't think we were that nervous going in (to overtime) because we knew we were a man up and we just wanted to come out and step on their throats and that's exactly what we did," said West Linn senior forward Gavin Tinsley, who scored twice in the Lions' victory.
"(Losing) didn't really cross my mind. I knew we had it," said senior defender Garrett Jackson, who assisted on his team's first goal and scored the game-winner just 48 seconds into overtime. "We knew that we were going to put our chances away. … We knew that if we just kept playing our game and playing hard that we would get the win."
With the victory — West Linn's fourth straight — the sixth-ranked Lions improved to 11-2-3 overall after tying for first place in the Three Rivers League. Next up, the Lions will play third-ranked David Douglas (12-2-2 overall after winning the Mt. Hood Conference) in the state quarterfinals on Saturday.
"(Tonight is) a huge confidence booster going into that game," Tinsley said. "It was a scoreless draw last time (against Daid Douglas on Sept. 13) so we know that if we just put a few chances away, we can win. They're a good team and I'm really looking forward to it."
"It's going to take progression in practice and coming out … fired up and being ready to go," Jackson said. "We played them and they're one of the best teams we played so to beat them, we have to execute our chances."
For No. 22 Lake Oswego, Tuesday's loss ended the Lakers' season with an overall record of 8-6-2 after tying for fifth in the TRL.
"Going to overtime with only 10 men, we had the idea that we needed to focus on defense," said Lake Oswego senior defender Mason Ko. "But with that slip-up early on, it was difficult to come back."
"(In overtime), it's whoever gets the first goal because it's such a short amount of time," said Lake Oswego junior midfielder Christopher Anissian. "Whoever scores first usually ends up winning."
Neither team scored in Tuesday's opening half, with the Lions holding sway in the game's first 20 minutes and the Lakers battling back after that. Lake Oswego had the first strong scoring chance of the game when senior Javas Wray made a steal, then set up sophomore Eric Seaman for a short shot stopped by West Linn sophomore keeper Caden Kesselring with 10 minutes left in the half.
The Lions' best chance in the opening half came three minutes later when freshman Luke Tinsley fed Jackson for a short shot stopped by Lake Oswego senior keeper Anthony Intraversato.
After 40 minutes of scoreless play, the Lions broke through for the game's first goal just 7 minutes and 1 second into the second half when Jackson pushed the ball to the baseline on the right side of the Laker goal, then crossed it to Gavin Tinsley for a hard, 5-yard shot into the back of the net.
West Linn's lead didn't last, however. Despite three great chances to extend their lead over the following 12 minutes — headers by senior Garrett Wiancko and Jackson, and a Gavin Tinsley miss — the Lions instead saw the Lakers tie the contest.
With 17:03 left to play, Laker sophomore midfielder Roman Sinkus sent a pass to Wray on the right side of the West Linn penalty box and he looped a shot over Kesselring to tie the score at 1-1.
West Linn had one last chance to win in regulation when Luke Tinsley sent a long free kick into the Lakers' penalty box and Jackson's header missed just left with two minutes to go.
In overtime, however, the Lions needed just 48 seconds to get the game-winner. Gavin Tinsley started the scoring play when he took the ball up the middle of the field past three Laker defenders, then dumped it off to Jackson 10 yards out of goal on the right side; from there, Jackson controlled the ball, then hit a soft shot across the Lakers' goal and into the edge of the net at the far post for a 2-1 lead.
"That's my first experience in overtime so it was really exciting, especially after getting that goal 48 seconds into overtime," said West Linn senior defender Garrett Wiancko. "This one felt really good and we were fortunate enough to come out with a win against a really good team."
The Lions only accelerated after that, scoring again 2:40 into the second half of overtime, this time with Gavin Tinsley pushing the ball up the left seam, splitting two defenders, settling the ball and scoring to make it 3-1.
And finally, Lake Oswego recorded an own goal while trying to clear the ball and kicking a hard shot that ricocheted off another LO player and into the Laker goal for a 4-1 lead with 4:59 remaining.
"I definitely felt like we were capable, but things didn't go our way and it was hard to bounce back," Ko said.
"We lost 14 seniors last year, so a lot of our starters went away, but we quickly adapted," Anissian added. "We came out and killed it in preseason, but then we just choked it up a little in league, but overall, it was the team chemistry that brought us to our victories."
For their part, the Lions knew that they had defended well and came through when they absolutely had to do so.
"They have a lot of great players up top and we worked a lot in practice about shutting those guys down and mixing some stuff up with marking assignments and things like that, and fortunately we were able to shut down a good team," Wiancko said.
"Every goal that kept coming, I just felt happier and happier," Jackson said. "It was really fun."
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