Experience across a field can lead to great things, and this year’s West Linn Lions features veterans at almost every position,One of the most notable is Arizona State Sun Devils commit and goal scorer expert Madison Leek, senior. The team has a shot at winning its third Three Rivers League title in four years.
“We’re working really hard this year, to keep the tradition going,” Carley Turner, senior defender, said.
The Lions made an early exit in second round of the OSSA state playoffs last year against the Thurston high school Colts but only two starters,midfielder Alexy Daharb (moved to Colorado) and goalie Gabby Estey (graduation ), spots must be filled this year. This doesn’t seem to be problem for the Lions as Coach Holly Biard has great depth at her disposal.
Minutes at goal keeper are being spread out between Dani Moscow, freshman, and Kylie Havemann, sophomore. Usually they split the game by goalkeeping a half.
The defense is anchored by captain Paige Myers, senior, who also plays midfielder, and Mackenzie Danies, senior, also mans the middle of the defensive set. On the left and right defenders, Nicole Granville, senior, Courtney Brearley, senior, Nicki Zavoshy, senior, Turner, and Rachel Dawson, sophomore, have all seen playing time.
“Are defense is often overlooked because of our great offense, but we’re a solid group,” Turner said.
The girls that are seeing most of the playing time in the middle of the field are Courtney Landis, sophomore, Leah Merriam, senior, Katie Moeller, sophomore, Mary Richardson, junior, Madison Mills, junior, Sophie Gabler, sophomore, and Myers.
The Lions up front are solid with Nicole Campbell, senior, being the other starter. Leek, who has scored 14 goals in Lions first seven games, including three hat tricks.
The team defeated the Lakeridge Pacers on Sept. 27, 2-0 at Lakeridge High School behind the goals of Leek and Juliana Guenther, freshman.
On Sept. 25 the Lions took on the visiting Canby Cougars and came up short with a 2-0 defeat.
In the Lions TRL home opener, on Sept. 20, the team would take on another rival in the Lake Oswego Lakers. The Lakers jumped on the Lions in second half by scoring the games first goal. Leek responded with her twelfth goal of the season to tie the score. The Lakers scored the winning goal with only :16 seconds left on the clock. With not enough time for the Lions to respond the Lakers would pull out a 2-1 victory.
On Sept. 18, the Lions opened TRL play by visiting rival Oregon City Pioneers. Leek found the back of the net four times and team finished with a 5-0 victory over the Pioneers.
The team won its first three non league games against the West Salem Titans, McMinnville Grizzlies,and Newburg Tigers. Leek notched hat tricks in both West Salem and McMinnville games.