by:  Maddie Krauss returns to the Pacers this year at forward on a team that will look to maximize efficiency on offense.

The Lakeridge girls soccer team is off to a 2-0 start this season returning seven seniors from a team that took second in the Three Rivers League last year.

"I think we have a really good mix which is nice. Our younger players are bringing some good energy and our older players are all working really hard," coach Ryann Furrer said.

The Pacers were one of the best defensive teams in the league last year, giving up just 13 goals all season and that figures to be one of the squad's strengths again this year.

Lakeridge is currently splitting time between its two goalies Sarah Swanson and Mackenzie Hopkins, both of whom have been strong this season.

Defensively, Kaitlyn Korte and Mallory Walton return, both of whom started last year and Ellee Daskalos, Che Jansen-Byrkit and Michelle Buncke will also look to keep teams off the board.

"We're looking for the defense to be a little more assertive early on and that's where the preseason is really valuable. They've been doing a great job," Furrer said.

At the midfield is where Lakeridge returns much of its experience. Brittany Dales and four-year varsity player Katey Jacobsen are both back and will be flanked by Brittany Morelli, Nicole Helm and Genevieve Dupre.

"It's definitely one of our goals to get our midfielders involved as much as possible," Furrer said.

Up front the Pacers have some exciting firepower in returning starter Maddie Krauss along with freshman Erin Elliott, Krissy Criag, Hayley Furlong and Hope Daskalos.

"I feel like we should be able to score goals this year. We hope to put teams under pressure and be a little more efficient this season," Furrer said.

If Lakeridge is able to capitalize on a few more scoring chances this year it could make a strong run at a league title this year.

"Right now we're really working on getting familiar with each other. This group is really hard working," Furrer said.

The league figures to be perhaps as wide open as it's been in a number of years with defending champs West Linn graduating an enormous senior class.

Canby and Lake Oswego should also field strong squads once league play begins next week.

"It's always a great league with a lot of great players. Just one off night can really set you back," Furrer said.

The Pacers have notched a pair of 2-0 wins this season. In the opener they took down Hood River and, on Tuesday, the team beat Wilson, getting goals from Elliott and Craig.

Lakeridge opens up league play against West Linn.

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