Lakeridge's boys lacrosse team put up a valiant effort against the eventual state champions from Lincoln last week, outplaying the Cardinals for much of their semifinal match-up at Wilsonville High School.
But, ultimately, a six-minute lapse in the third quarter proved fatal as the Cardinals scored four unanswered goals in the only sustained run either team mustered in the contest. Lincoln would hold on for a 10-8 victory and then claim the state title over Sunset 7-6 on Saturday.
Lakeridge entered the game against the high-octane Cardinals with plenty of confidence.
The teams traded goals in the opening minutes with the Pacers getting on the board first on a pretty shot from Tyler Rich.
David Salamie came up big in the opening quarter, stopping a pair of early shots from the Cardinals. Blake Dutton would give Lakeridge a 2-1 lead midway through the opening period on a nice bounce shot and Salamie came up with a tremendous shot from point blank range in the closing moments of the first quarter to preserve Lakeridge's advantage.
Lincoln would tie the game less than a minute into the second quarter, however and would then take its first lead of the game with 7:48 to play in the half.
Lakeridge's defense hung tough during Lincoln's run and helped keep the damage to a minimum.
On offense the Pacers started to rush things somewhat after giving up the lead, resulting in some difficult shots.
Drew Haroldson got on the board from a tough angle on an assist by Rich to tie the game with a little more than three minutes to play in the half.
Lincoln committed the game's first penalty in the final minute of the first half but would score man-down with 35 seconds left.
However, Lakeridge had an immediate answer. The Pacers were dominant on face-offs all evening thanks to the play of Garrison Petrie and Clark Salamie and, after winning another one, J.R. McLaughlin scored a crucial game-tying goal with 23 seconds remaining.
In the third quarter, Lincoln committed a pair of early turnovers but Lakeridge failed to take advantage. In fact, the Cardinals regained the lead on another man-down goal.
That goal sparked a run from the Cardinals that would put the Pacers in a hole. Lincoln rattled off four unanswered goals to go up 8-4 with 3:19 left in the third period.
During that time, Lincoln's Grant Clifford took over, scoring twice and acting as a focal point for the team's attack. The Pacers did a nice job slowing down Lincoln's first-team all-state attackman Michael Marcott, getting a tremendous defensive effort from Roy Jarman but Clifford picked up the slack.
Lakeridge struggled to possess the ball for most of the third quarter but the team rose to the occasion when its back was against the wall.
Haroldson would score on a breakaway, getting an assist from Johnny Clayton with 1:05 to play in the quarter. Then, less than a minute later, Clayton scored following a turnover deep in Lincoln territory.
It was a game-saving final minute for the Pacers and gave the team renewed energy heading into the fourth quarter.
Lakeridge could continue its run early in the fourth quarter on another goal from Clayton, this time with an assist from Rich, cutting the lead to 8-7.
However, Lincoln came up with a response just one minute later to give itself some breathing room.
The Cardinals executed with precision in the fourth quarter, taking time off the clock and scoring against with 7:14 remaining to make it 10-7.
Lakeridge fought hard to claw its way back into the game but struggled on ground balls for much of the contest and it hurt the team as it trade to make a final rally.
Dutton would score despite a double-team with 3:45 to play but Lincoln's defense held firm in the closing minutes. A turnover with one minute left finally did the Pacers in.
Lakeridge will graduate nine talented seniors from another very strong squad that was ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the season.