Healthy Lakers will be tough

by: VERN UYETAKE Lake Oswego freshman Sarah Passadore fights for a ball in the Lakers’ 1-0 win over Aloha on Tuesday. The win moved the team to 1-1 on the year.

It's very early in the season but the Lake Oswego girls soccer team has already been hit pretty hard by the injury bug.

The Lakers have lost a handful of players to various injuries including much of their front line but the team is still confident that, once it gets healthy, it will be a strong contender in the Three Rivers League.

The team is without forwards Libby Johnson and Grayson Williams-Krebs to start the season but hope to get them back by the start of league.

Kristen Fransen and Sarah Christenson have also been hit with injuries causing the Lakers to put some younger players into key positions.

"We're learning to play together and getting people used to new positions," coach Dominic Yambasu said.

In goal this year will be freshman Juliana Ramey along with Ally Saldivar.

Defensively Lake Oswego should be extremely strong this year led by returning starter Ali Binns.

"The back line will be very strong. Ali is extremely quick," Yambasu said.

Kate Hearon, Emily Prasil and Fransen along with Sarah Passadore will also support a defense that the Lakers hope will be very difficult to score on this season.

Through the midfield Lake Oswego will play Michelle Tanz, Lizzy Darling, Zoe Wong and Emily Wolff.

Lake Oswego has just three seniors on this year's team but also has some of the league's best young talent, which could make them exceedingly dangerous down the stretch.

Williams-Krebs and Johnson are both expected to be talented goal scorers for the Lakers this year when they return to the line-up along with Christenson.

Lizzie Batiuk and Blair Dozois have also been seeing significant time up front for the Lakers to start the season.

"We're still trying to see where our best fits are and feeling things out," Yambasu said.

Lake Oswego lost its opening game of the season to Southridge 3-1 but rallied against another Metro team, beating Aloha 1-0 with the goal coming from Wolff.

"We're still a little inexperienced but we're definitely improving quickly," Yambasu said.

The Lakers finished fourth in the league last year and hope to improve on that finish this season in a wide open and competitive league.

"Clackamas, Lakeridge and Canby will all be strong but once we get healthy we'll give them a run. You shouldn't count us out," Yambasu said.

The Lakers will open up league play against Canby next week.