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Lakeridge unveils secret weapon in rivalry game

by: Vern Uyetake,

Casual fans of Three Rivers League girls soccer could have watched Tuesday's game between Lakeridge and Lake Oswego and assumed that the Pacers' Samantha Berryman, their leading scorer, knocked in her team's second goal and had a brilliant assist later on to tie the contest.

But if they were to look closer they would have seen that it wasn't Berryman wearing the familiar number 21. In fact, Berryman was on the sideline in a huge knee brace after tearing her ACL in a non-league game last week against Central Catholic.

Instead, it was freshman Casey Costello, in her first varsity game, leading the Pacers to an exciting 3-3 draw against a Laker squad that previously had not yielded a goal in league play.

The Lakers were coming off their biggest win of the season, a 5-0 drubbing of West Linn last Thursday, and were favored to knock off the Pacers to solidify their standing atop the Three Rivers League.

But Lakeridge always seems to be at its best in the Battle of the Lake and that was the case again this year.

Lake Oswego found itself in an early hole, something it has not been accustomed to so far this year.

Seven minutes into the contest, the Pacers sent a dangerous ball into the goal box that wasn't cleared and a hard tackle gave Lakeridge an early penalty kick.

Riley Costello took the shot and knocked it in despite Laker goalie Ariana Green getting a hand on it.

Lake Oswego upped its intensity on offense for the majority of the first half as Jill Shoquist and Brooke Bartholomew each had good shots that were narrowly off target.

In the first half, the Lakers had twice as many shots as the Pacers did, but Lakeridge made the most of its opportunities.

With 10 minutes to play in the half, Lakeridge earned an indirect free kick just inside Lake Oswego's goal box. The original shot missed but the loose ball found Casey Costello, who knocked it into the open net to give her team a 2-0 lead.

'It was an exciting game. To have a freshman come in and fill a role like that was great,' Pacer coach Pete Siddons said.

'I didn't even expect to start and I ended up playing the whole game and I was pretty shocked by that but it was a good experience,' Costello said.

Despite trailing by two goals, the Lakers were far from shell-shocked. In fact, they responded by playing some of their best soccer of the night. Lake Oswego's offense has shown the ability to score in bunches this year as evidenced by their four goals in 12 minutes against West Linn.

That was the case again on Tuesday. Lake Oswego's pressure earned a penalty kick with two and a half minutes to play in the half after a Lakeridge hand-ball in the goal box and Shoquist scored it easily.

Then, with under a minute before the break, Madeline Johnson hit a beautiful header that was saved nicely by Lakeridge goalie Amanda Griffin.

On the ensuing corner kick, Shoquist hit a perfect feed to Margaret Johnson who headed the ball into the net untouched with 15 seconds to play, tying the score.

'At the half we said the game wasn't over and I think everyone motivated each other to fight through it,' Casey Costello said.

Lake Oswego appeared to have all the momentum early in the second half. Just four and a half minutes after the break, Bartholomew hurled a long throw-in towards the box and Alyssa Hopcus corralled the loose ball and knocked in an open shot to give the Lakers their first lead of the game.

Lake Oswego controlled the next 10 minutes of the game but momentum shifted again when Emily Rohde went down with an ankle injury. Rohde was helped off to the locker room and Shoquist was dropped back to help shore up the defense.

As a result, Lakeridge controlled the flow of play for the majority of the game's final 20 minutes.

Danielle Levin fired a shot just wide and Victoria Lee began to control the midfield for Lakeridge.

With 15 minutes to play in the game, Casey Costello found herself wide open down the left side of the field. She drew a defender and then hit a perfect cross into the box and Jenna Horton completed the play with a nice header to tie the game.

In the final minutes, Lake Oswego's Kat Colson had a shot that missed just inches over the crossbar and Liz Schreyer missed a shot wide but the game ended in a draw.

'The first thing our captains said when they came off the field was that this was 100 percent a team accomplishment,' Siddons said.

The result left Lake Oswego in first place in the Three Rivers league with a 3-0-1 record and Lakeridge in second with a 2-0-2 mark.