Ian McCrory put the ball in the net as Lynden overcame offensive woes

OAK HARBOR — For most of their match against the Oak Harbor Wildcats on Friday, the Lynden Lions just couldn’t put anything together.

That would change in the waning minutes of the match when the Lions finally chalked up a goal, but the 1-0 win followed a match full of attrition and frustration.

Heading into halftime, the Lions only had a couple of opportunities to put the ball in the net on the Wildcats’ side of the field, and none of them were successful.

Lions coach Drew Smiley said they weren’t really worried about being scored on by Oak Harbor, but that didn’t stop them from failing to capitalize on the opportunities they began to create. It wasn’t really about being contained by Oak Harbor, he said.

“I would say it was more what did we do to contain ourselves?” Smiley said.

The Lions tried everything, Smiley said, including putting up an extra forward.

“We definitely changed personnel throughout the game, more than normal,” he said. “I don’t know if it was the long bus ride, but we just didn’t seem ready to play today.”

The Lions continued to create chances to score in the second half, and it finally worked with about three minutes left in the match. Collin Anker intercepted a corner kick after the Lions won a contested ball.

“It went to my teammate,” Anker said. “He sent me with a decent ball down the sideline and I saw Ian. I hit it as hard as I could to him and he clutched up and scored.”

Ian McCrory was the scorer, and he said it was a great feeling to finally put the ball in the goal after so much trying earlier in the match.

“It was amazing,” McCrory said. “We wanted to win so bad. We were working for it. We were pushing for it.”

Friday was the Lions’ second match of the season, following up an 11-1 win at home against Blaine on Tuesday, March 30.

“It’s just good to have a season,” Anker said.

The Lions have a long time to rest on Spring Break; their next match will be at Squalicum at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 15.