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As Bethany Marteeny put it, the West Albany High girls soccer team wanted to get their foot in the door from the start in Thursday night’s crosstown rivalry game with South Albany.

That’s exactly what Marteeny and the Bulldogs did.

Marteeny found the back of the net in the second minute and the Bulldogs defense was on point as the Bulldogs came away with a 3-0 Mid-Willamette Conference victory over the RedHawks.

“I think that we started strong and that was one of the things that we wanted to focus on in the game,” Marteeny said.

West (7-2, 4-0), which entered the game ranked No. 5 in the OSAA power rankings, will look to move one step closer to a possible league title when it hosts Central on Tuesday.

South (9-1, 2-1), which came in at No. 11, will look to bounce back with a home game against Lebanon on Tuesday.

Marteeny beat her defender and followed up her initial shot that was partially stopped by South keeper Mariana Jones for a 1-0 lead 91 seconds into the game.

Annie Berry made it 2-0 in the 11th minute as the Bulldogs were able to pressure in the South keeper again.

“We saw that ball going out but their player slid and kind of pushed it back in and Annie was there to finish it so that was huge,” Marteeny said.

South had its first scoring chance but McKenna Platt’s long free kick was just wide left in the 20th.

That’s how the score remained at the half despite the Bulldogs controlling most of the possession and scoring chances.

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“It was a tough first half,” South coach Staci Rogers said. “I mean once the girls kind of got their rhythm going it was much better.”

While the second half was much better for the RedHawks, a goal never came.

“The girls had the confidence going to the second half, I could see that,” Rogers said. “I was very proud of the way they stepped up the second half. They played a hard-fought game against a tough team and I’m proud of them.”

A goal by Lilly Ruiz off an assist from Jayde Crowe in the 64th minute, though, was a back-breaker.

“They were really good at counterattacking which is the kind of game they wanted to play,” Marteeny said. “So we would possess and possess and if we lost it in the offensive third, we would counter attack really fast and that kind of caught us off guard. I think after Lilly got that third goal we kind of settled down and adjusted.”

It was the second straight season the RedHawks saw their undefeated season come to an end at the hands of the Bulldogs.

Last season, South was 8-0 when it dropped a 5-0 decision to a West team that eventually made it to the 5A state semifinals.

On Thursday, the RedHawks took a 9-0 record into their battle with West.

For West, it was another step along the way to a season that is setting up for a possible league title.

“There’s always improvement but we’re playing so well right now because our goal scoring is coming from a lot of different players and that’s always good,” Marteeny said. “This game three different scorers. And our defense, another shutout. I think we’re doing awesome.”

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Sports Editor

Sports editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald