The Lions graduated a ton from last year, but expect to be strong again in 2022
Things are going to look a little different at West Linn this year.
Despite all that, West Linn believes it will be ready to compete with the Three Rivers League’s best teams in 2022.
“We lost (13) seniors last year and a lot of them started each game,” said West Linn coach Madison Campbell, adding “I believe in this group and know we can do great things with our speed and technical skills, but we need to get comfortable with each other first.”
The 2022 version of the Lions will be led by those two returning all-leaguers — senior forward/midfielder Kaia Schmidt (a second-team all-TRL selection a year ago) and senior midfielder/defender Kelan Betts (an honorable mention pick in ‘21) — along with junior midfielder/defender Kate Cheldelin, senior midfielder Meg DeVall, junior defender Berni Wayland and senior goalkeeper Kyra Jeffrey.
“You’ll definitely be seeing a lot of Kate, Kaia, Kelan, Meg, and Berni on the field this season,” Campbell said. “They all can play multiple positions on the field and … have been on varsity for a couple years now. They are talented and skilled soccer players, but also are great people who bring positivity and energy to the game when we need it most.”
The rest of the Lions’ varsity lineup will include sophomore keeper Nyamma Nelson, sophomore forward Tess Pierce, sophomore defender Izzie Mansfield, junior forward Ava Johnson, freshman forward Caitlyn Schreck, freshman midfielder Kylee Schreck, sophomore forward Cassidy Harding, freshman forward/midfielder/defender Emily Pierce, junior forward/midfielder Audrey Coller, sophomore midfielder/defender Addison Saks, senior forward/midfielder Brooklyn Ouellette, junior forward/midfielder/defender Josie Pothast, junior midfielder Melissa Reyes, junior defender Myrtle Guarisco, junior defender Rylee Winscott, senior midfielder/defender Lily Sewell, junior defender Janina Kraetschmer and senior forward Taelyn Haney.
“I believe to be successful in this league, teams need to have depth on their bench that will bring fitness and technical skills to the pitch during times of low energy or off flow,” Campbell said. “(And) having a good defense and keeper is crucial with so many great attacking mindset players in this league.”
Looking ahead to the coming TRL race — the Lions host Oregon City in their 2022 TRL opener at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4 — Campbell expects her team to battle, but acknowledges that Lake Oswego (the reigning league champ) will be a tough opponent.
“I always want to put out positive intentions and say we will win league, but I think Lake
Oswego is still going to be a tough team to compete with,” she said.
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