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Pacer girls rally for 2-2 draw

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN  Lakeridge’s Erin Elliott wins a ball in the air against West Linn goalie Gabby Estey on a play that led to the Pacers’ first goal on Tuesday and one that sparked them to rally from a late 2-0 deficit.

For the first 70 minutes of Tuesday's league opener against West Linn, the Lakeridge girls soccer team looked like it was going to be saddled with an early loss.

The Lions notched an early goal and led for the majority of the contest, taking a 2-0 lead with 11 minutes left in the game.

But all it took was a little spark and Lakeridge looked like a different team. The Pacers answered West Linn's second goal almost immediately and scored twice in a five-minute period to rally for a 2-2 draw that gave the team a positive result to open the regular season.

Lakeridge was a bit flat-footed early in the game and West Linn took advantage, coming up with a handful of scoring opportunities.

Most of those were earned by the Lions' speedy forward Madison Leek who had two good looks deflected and another that hit the crossbar in the first 10 minutes.

A few minutes later she broke through a goal that gave the Lions an early lead.

Lakeridge's best chance in the first half came when it drew West Linn's goalie away from the net but a great defensive stop turned the chance away.

Maddie Krauss also had a nice shot that West Linn saved.

Lakeridge upped its aggressiveness to open the second half and earned a handful of early corner kicks but couldn't convert on any of them.

Katey Jacobsen had a hard shot from point blank range but, again the West Linn goalie made a nice save.

The Pacers also did a much better job containing Leek in the second half, denying her the ball and keeping her in front of the defense.

With 11:22 left in the game, the Lions broke through again when Nicole Campbell followed her own shot and scored to make it 2-0.

However, Lakeridge would answer less than a minute later. A ball was sent into the box and West Linn's goalie Gabby Estey and Lakeridge freshman Erin Elliott both made a play on it.

Elliott got a head on the ball to knock it away from Estey and knocked the ball in on a play that sparked the entire Lakeridge team. The Pacers continued to be the aggressors, winning loose balls.

Jacobsen hit another good shot over the crossbar but, not long afterwards, the Pacers would strike again.

Lakeridge drew Estey out of the net again as she punched away a ball at the top of the penalty box. The ball went to Elliott who chipped a shot into the open net to tie the game.

It was an exciting draw for the Pacers and one that they hope they can build on in the coming weeks. Lakeridge takes on Clackamas tonight (Thursday) and plays Oregon City next Tuesday.