After Vanquishing Offensive Woes, Boys Soccer Turns Focus to Defense

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Canby boys soccer once again found themselves at the center of two high-scoring matches this week in games against Tigard and West Linn. The boys faltered in both games, losing 3-7 against Tigard and 1-5 to West Linn.

The Cougars (1-7 overall, 1-5 TRL), one week after picking up their first win of the season, faced off against a dynamic Tigard team Tuesday. As is typical with this year’s Cougars, the scoring started early.

Tiger Adam Miller scored off of a deflection in the third minute to put Tigard up 1-0. Less than four minutes later, Canby’s Vladimir Bernal-Lopez scored after intercepting the Tigard goalie’s pass.

All year, head coach Ryan McCormack has preached mentality. Canby has fallen down in many games, but mental toughness has allowed the Cougars to compete with many teams more talented than them. The teams remained deadlocked for the next 20 minutes before a penalty kick put the home Tigers up 2-1 in the 35th minute.

While the Cougars were never able to take the lead in the game, they would hang tough for most of the match. Mario Bautista-Bautista scored off an impressive volley one minute after Tigard has made the game 3-1.

The game sat at 3-2 for the next 10 minutes before three quick Tiger goals put the game out of reach, 6-2. Heladio Vera scored the final goal for the Cougars with the shot of the game, a strike from 35 yards out and steamed off of the crossbar and in.

Following the 3-7 loss to Tigard, the Cougars took on the 6-1-1 West Linn Lions. The Lions pounced early and shot out to a commanding 5-0 lead before the Cougars took an easy fast break and converted with a goal to make the final score 1-5.

Through the first eight games of the season, Canby has allowed 40 goals, the most in 6A. The Cougar’s fast-paced, rangy attack has given opponents opportunities to score, and they have converted.

Canby’s problem is not its offense: The Cougs have put more points on the board than any other one-win team by a wide margin. Until they can solve their defensive woes against fellow high-powered Three Rivers League offenses, expect to see a lot of goals in the Canby box scores.

The boys have drawn a tough test this week as they face the No. 2 team in the state in the undefeated Lakeridge Pacers on Wednesday. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.

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