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Renee Lee scored two goals in the second half as the Wildcats defeated the Class 6A Cougars

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville's Renee Lee scored two goals in the second half of the Wildcats 5-3 victory over Canby Thursday.

Wilsonville coach Dwight Sheppick made two adjustments at halftime of Thursday's game.

And both paid off as the Wildcats defeated Class 6A Canby 5-3.

Sheppick first made sure Wilsonville kept track of Canby forward Joey Baguio, who scored two goals in the first half, including one in the final 10 seconds to tie the game at 2-2.

"We weren't passing her on to the next defender," Sheppick said. "She's a brilliant player, a really good player. She makes things happen. She still broke through. She didn't hurt us, but we got to the point where somebody else had to beat us. It wasn't going to be her."

Sheppick also moved midfielder Lindsey Antonson, who scored both of the Wildcats first half goals, outside.

"Everybody knows Lindsey so every time she touches the ball, they put a triangle on her real quick, so we put her outside to get 1-on-1," Sheppick said. "Every once in a while you've got to hide people and see if they forget about her and see if she can break lose."

Sixteen minutes into the second half, Antonson sent a cross to Renee Lee, who put the ball in the back of the net to give Wilsonville a 3-2 lead.

"She doesn't have to score goals," Sheppick said. "She's a great passer. She creates even if she's not shooting."

"I just saw a glimpse of Renee and I knew she was there and I was so excited when she hit it in the back of the net," said Antonson, who 10 minutes later scored her third goal of the night to extend the Wildcats' lead to 4-2. "I think we just kept the intensity really high. We just kept working hard. It's a really big game for us. I'm so proud of our team."

Taking advantage of a penalty kick and yellow card on Wilsonville goalkeeper Kendall Taylor, Baguio got the Cougars back within a goal with three minutes remaining.

However, Lee scored her second goal with just over a minute left to play to seal the Wilsonville victory.

"I was just in an open spot and I just stay composed and tapped it in," Lee said. "I was ready and mentally prepared myself for whatever happened. We were just really motivated to come out in the second half with a bang."

While Antonson and Lee were credited with Wilsonville's goals, Sheppick said the Wildcats' offense starts with Araxi Tejada-Martinez.

"She's the engine," Sheppick said. "She wins balls. She creates space because she can hold the ball and then that pulls defenders away. Without her on the field, we break down. She's really good."

The win was Wilsonville's first over a 6A team this season after falling 5-0 to West Salem and tying Lincoln 1-1.

"Canby's a quality team," Sheppick said. "Well coached. This is big. This was a total team effort. I'm super proud of them. We've improved game to game. It was a great effort. We've had trouble in the past playing in the first half the way we do in the second half. In the second half we tend to play with a bit more energy. The effort has always been good. We just play with a sense of urgency in the second half. We have to start playing with that sense of urgency in the first half."

Derek Wiley
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