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Lebanon's Alyssa Hoffman gains possession for the Warriors during a nonleague contest against Scappoose on Thursday, Sept. 6.

Lebanon’s first-year varsity girls soccer coach Francisco Martinez Cruz isn’t dismayed by the team’s slow start this season.

The Warriors are 0-3 in non-league play following a 5-0 home loss to Scappoose on Thursday, Sept. 6.

Cruz was pleased with the way his team responded against the Indians. In the first half, the Warriors struggled to maintain possession and connect on passes. Scappoose (2-0) took advantage of turnovers in the midfield to mount multiple quick attacks.

“The first half it was 4-0. The second half, we had a couple of chances and gave up only one goal,” Cruz said. “There was more effort and we kept fighting.”

Cruz adjusted the team’s formation, going from a 4-4-2 alignment with two strikers to a 4-5-1 formation to provide more defensive help in the midfield.

As the Warriors’ defense improved, so did their ability to create offensive opportunities.

“Little by little, they started getting some ideas,” Cruz said.

Cruz was also pleased with the effort from two freshmen who were inserted into the lineup, Ella Shevel and Emmie Cabrales. They are part of a young rotation which includes two sophomores and four juniors.

“Good stuff is coming. We have to be patient,” Cruz said.

The Warriors were scheduled to play at Sprague on Tuesday, Sept. 11. They will conclude their nonleague schedule with a home match against Mountain View on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The Mid-Willamette Conference schedule will begin on Sept. 25 against visiting North Salem.

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