The Lions shine brightly, dominate in their 2022 season opener.
To be honest, it took the West Linn girls soccer team a little while to get into gear in its 2022 season opener.
But once the Lions shifted into action, they hit high gear and did not let off the accelerator until they’d sped away from McNary 7-0 at West Linn High School on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
“I thought we had a lot of pent-up anger from losing in the semifinals last year and we were finally able to take that and put it all on the field and bring it,” said West Linn senior midfielder Kate Cheldelin, who scored her team’s first goal in the win. “I thought we were great.”
“I think we felt pretty confident,” said junior forward/midfielder Audrey Coller, who scored once in the win over McNary. “I know I was nervous with first-game jitters, but I felt really good, especially once we started playing and got into the game.”
“I thought that we were good at connecting passes and our conditioning really paid off,” added senior defender Berni Wayland, who scored her team’s fourth goal in the victory.
With the win, the Lions improved to 1-0 overall, while the Celtics fell to 0-1. Next up, the Lions will play a non-league game at Beaverton (1-1-1 overall) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8.
While West Linn dominated possession early — the Lions fired off four shots in the game’s first seven minutes — it took almost 11 minutes for the Lions to score the night’s first goal. But there, with 29:04 left in the opening half, Cheldelin collected a free ball, turned toward the McNary goal and beat Celtics junior keeper Hannah Ferguson to the center of the goal for a 1-0 lead.
The Lions continued to control possession the rest of the half — McNary didn’t manage a shot in the night’s first 40 minutes — then scored twice in the final 10:05 of the opening period to grab a 3-0 lead. Sophomore forward Tess Pierce set up the first of those two goals when she sent a through ball up the middle to freshman midfielder Kylee Schreck. Schreck took one dribble to control the ball, then sent a low shot past the diving Ferguson for a 2-0 lead with 10:05 remaining in the half.
Then, following a corner kick by sophomore Cassidy Harding, Schreck scored again with a header to the left post to make it 3-0 with 6:48 to go before the break.
The second half followed a similar arc, with McNary keeping West Linn scoreless for the first 15 minutes of the period and getting its first shot on goal (stopped by West Linn sophomore Nyamma Nelson) from junior Nicole Schnurbusch before the Lions reasserted control.
Indeed, the Lions got really hot after that. They made it 4-0 when Wayland hit a follow-up goal at the right post after senior Kelan Betts’ corner kick with 25:23 left to play.
“I haven’t scored since I was like 10 so I was pretty surprised,” Wayland said. “I’m pretty excited.”
Next up, Schreck connected to the top right corner of the McNary goal from 20 yards out with 23:01 remaining to boost her team’s lead to 5-0 and secure a hat trick in her first varsity game.
After the game, Schreck said she was just happy to contribute to her team’s win, comparing the Lions’ varsity to her club squad where “my team helped me get balls through and passed it to me.”
Nine minutes later, Schreck’s twin sister — freshman forward Caitlyn Schreck — notched her first varsity goal with 14:37 left in the contest, scoring on a follow shot to make it 6-0 after Pierce’s shot was deflected.
Then, finally, Coller added the exclamation point to her team’s “W,” breaking away up the left seam and scoring on the run for the final 7-0 margin with 8:35 left on the clock.
“We started connecting our passes and getting our rhythm (at) the beginning of the second half,” Cheldelin said. “We started connecting and … we got the result so we’re happy.”
“Everyone was giving it their all,” Coller said. “Everyone had their head in the game and was giving it their best shot. It was great. It was a lot of fun.”
For the game, West Linn fired off 31 shots (17 on goal) and earned three corner kicks. McNary had one shot (one on goal) and one corner kick.
See the complete slideshow from this game here.
See all the photos from this game here.
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