The Lions played their way into the state title game a year ago, now look to rebuild.
Last year’s West Linn boys soccer team went where no previous Lions team had gone before.
Now, the Lions are ready to start building their next contender.
“I’m not going to lie — after making an incredible run last year to the state final, I pretty much lost most of my varsity squad to graduation,” said West Linn coach Steve Ancheta, whose team graduated 20 seniors from last year’s varsity team (including TRL Player of the Year Owen Caba and eight other all-leaguers). “Overall, we will have a very young team this fall that will start striving to build back up for the future to hopefully be a contender again.”
The 2022 Lions will be led by junior defender/midfielder Gabe Valdes (the Lions’ lone all-league returner — he won honorable mention honors in 2021), senior midfielder/forward Ajani White, sophomore defender Mason Bradley, junior goalkeeper Aiden Ferreiro-Bartko and senior forward/defender Seth Sorensen.
“I think this is my 15th year as a high school head coach … and this might be my toughest schedule,” Ancheta said. “Overall, we are excited for the new season and my young group will be a work in progress, but so far, they have been working very hard.”
The rest of the Lions’ varsity roster will include senior Nick Owens, senior Cooper Watkins, senior Noah Goodman, senior Enzo Contreras, senior Sean Nugent, senior Isaiah Leger-Moore, junior Max Krider, junior Isaac Kensinger, sophomore Miles Miller, sophomore Haaken Retzlaff, sophomore Ryan Lippert, sophomore Mason Bradley, sophomore Ethan Caba, freshman Tristan Peia, freshman Jack Jacobs, freshman Christian Inzunza, freshman Zander Morris, freshman Quinn Gates and freshman Cooper Gilbo.
As to the coming TRL race — the Lions open league play when they host Lakeridge at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6 — Ancheta said he expects both Lakeridge and Tualatin to be strong.
“I know our league is always tough, with a lot of quality players and coaches,” Ancheta said, noting that the TRL is going back to playing league foes just once each this fall. “I think Lakeridge returns a strong group and is probably the front-runner, with Tualatin also having a solid core back.”
See the Lake Oswego preview here.
See the Lakeridge preview here.