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Pacers plan to build on last year's success

The Lady Pacers soccer team may technically be decked out in powder blue, but last year at this time, they were pretty green.

In 2005, Lakeridge was extraordinarily young, turning over nearly its entire roster and also adjusting to a new head coach.

But this fall, the Pacers are far more comfortable with each other and, as a result, they have teams in the Three Rivers League keeping an eye out for them once again.

Lakeridge lost very few seniors from a team that came on strong last year to finish third in the league and had aspirations to finish even higher in its 2006 campaign.

'It was good to see some familiar faces this year and I think the girls are more used to me now,' coach Pete Siddons said.

In their first and only preseason contest, the Pacers easily handled Roseburg 2-0, enduring a long road trip in the process. The margin of victory probably could have been significantly larger as the Indians rarely possessed the ball inside Lakeridge territory.

'I think we were a little frustrated. It seemed like we were in a bit of a hurry to make things happen,' Siddons said.

Still, the team was happy just to shake off the rust in their first game and come away with a solid win.

Samantha Berryman scored both of the team's goals. The first came just minutes into the contest on a well-designed set play. Berryman took a feed from Victoria Lee and buried a shot to giver her team a lead it wouldn't surrender.

Lakeridge had a number of chances to add to their lead in the first half. Forwards Berryman, Riley Costello and McKenzie Ingram took turns firing on goal but couldn't break through.

Offense should be one of Lakeridge's strengths this season and many of its scoring chances will likely be set up by its strong midfield.

'This team really gets along well and they all want to learn the game and to play it right. They have really positive attitudes,' Siddons said.

The Pacers will start three senior midfielders in Ally Knecht, Stephanie Crim and Lee, all of which are captains as well.

Lakeridge clung to their one-goal lead until midway through the second half although the Indians still struggled to get anything going on offense.

Finally, Berryman connected again, this time from a difficult angle for the insurance goal that put the game away.

Lakeridge now has a few days to rest before its next match but it will have to be on its game quickly. The new 6A schedule has the Pacers jumping into league play much earlier than normal and they take on West Linn next Tuesday on the road.

According to Siddons, the new schedule has its plusses and minuses.

'We'll have to see what happens. I think it might get a little repetitive but the good thing is that there will always be something on the line,' Siddons said.

Tuesday's game will be at 6:30 p.m.