The Oregon Tech women’s soccer team enjoyed its most successful campaign in school history last year, advancing to the NAIA semifinals and finishing No. 4 in the season-ending coaches’ poll — and two former Canby Cougars were right in the middle of it.
The fourth-place ranking was the Owls’ highest-ever in the national poll.
Canby High School grads and former Cougar soccer stars Kyra Mull and Halle Adair were key cogs in the Owls’ historic campaign, in which they capped a 14-2 regular season and 11-1 conference mark by winning the Cascade Collegiate Conference postseason tournament.
While the sophomore Adair served mostly as a backup goalie for the team, playing in one game, the senior Mull started all 24 games as a midfielder.
Mull’s biggest moment came against Aquinas in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament. Tied 0-0 after regulation, the game entered a golden goal overtime, a period where the first goal automatically ends the game.
Only six minutes into the overtime period, Mull blasted a ball into the bottom corner to give the Owls their first-ever Elite Eight appearance.
“All season, we have wanted Kyra to score so bad because she brings so much to the team and each game,” Adair told the Current.
“No one deserved scoring the golden goal in such an important game then Kyra. The whole team was so happy for her and celebrated her success.”
After the goal, Adair went up to Mull and asked if coming back had been worth it. Mull, who used her Covid-redshirt year to come back for one additional season, was the only fifth-year senior to return for the Owls.
“I was excited to come back and play one more time but it was a little bittersweet since none of the other girls in my class stayed,” said Mull, “but I’m really grateful that I stayed though and I’m so proud we went as far as we did!”
The Owls would advance past Spring Arbor University before falling in the semifinals to eventual champion Tennessee Southern, 1-4. Both girls described the year as an unforgettable one.
Mull may have graduated from Tech after the historic season, but Adair will remain behind as the lone Canby player still on the squad. She says that her time at Canby helped prepare her for the things to come.
“The things from Canby I learned that helped in college were more then soccer,” said Adair. “I learned how important communication, being timely, and team cohesion is. I think everything in high school correlates in one way or another just at a higher level or more intense.”
Oregon Tech’s soccer season will kick off in the fall.
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