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LO boys top WL, Pacers sweep OC

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN Lake Oswego’s Evan Bernert, right, fends off a West Linn defender during the Lakers’ 3-2 win on Tuesday.

The Lake Oswego boys soccer rallied after a sluggish first half against West Linn on Tuesday, scoring a game-tying goal in the final 90 seconds before the break which seemed to spark the home team as Lake Oswego pulled out a 3-2 victory.

West Linn played with confidence early in the game, controlling possession and earning chances to jump out to a lead.

The Lakers nearly got on the board in the opening minutes when a ball was deflected backwards by the defense, over goalie Ryan Harman's head before glancing off the post and out of bounds.

Just 10 minutes into the contest, West Linn got the scoring started. Hugo Rhoads took the ball in the middle of the field and laid a nice pass to Zach Elhabbassi who got behind the defense on the right side.

Elhabbassi knocked his shot into the net Lions were off and running.

A few minutes later the Lions had a golden opportunity to go up 2-0. Rhoads sent a corner kick into the goal box that left Laker keeper Owen Madin out of position.

But West Linn's shot on the open net was deflected and turned away.

While both teams had plenty of possession in the opposition's territory, the Lions did well to limit many good chances by the Lakers.

Then, with less than two minutes to play before the break, the Lakers' Kyle Gazzigli got off a well-struck shot that hit the post.

The ball ricocheted to Cody Peterson who put it in the back of the net, energizing the Lakers just before the half.

Lake Oswego opened the second half with a flurry. Harman made a nice save on a well-struck shot and the Lakers were suddenly the team that was winning the majority of the 50/50 balls.

"Winning the first and second ball is always crucial for us," Morrison said.

Just a little more than six minutes into the half, Lake Oswego's Andrew Jeffery fired a shot that was partially deflected but found its way into the net, giving the Lakers the lead.

As the contest wore on, the game got more physical and chippy with multiple yellow cards being issued to both squads.

Ryan Favero also made a pair of nice runs down the right side but was flagged for offsides on both occasions.

West Linn seemed to turn the momentum of the game again when Rhoads buried a goal in traffic, capping a terrific individual effort to knot the score with 17:28 to play.

"Hugo's a great player and we saw what can happen if you take your eye off him for a second," Morrison said.

But, exactly one minute later, Lake Oswego responded. Gazzigli was tripped up inside the goal box, earning the Lakers a penalty kick.

Jeffery scored the goal, quickly giving the Lakers the lead back.

Gazzigli nearly scored again late in the game but sent his shot over the top of the goal.

It was a big win for the Lakers who now ride a two-game winning streak after a 6-2 win over Oregon City last Thursday as it preps for Thursday's game against Lakeridge.

"It was nice to come out and not just get a win but to put together an overall good performance," Morrison said.

Lakeridge will also head into Thursday's showdown with a victory, knocking off Oregon City 5-2 on Tuesday.

The Pacers' Adam Froelich scored just 32 seconds into the game and would notch a hat trick in the first half.

"He's really coming into form and was able to finish his chances," Lakeridge coach Erik Cronkrite said.

Lakeridge dominated the game, getting goals from Tyler Rich and Alec Ingraham along with Froelich's three.

The Pacers were able to get everyone in the game in the second half as it put things away early.

"We've had a tough preseason so it was nice to get a result. We've competed well in our two previous league games but lost in the last 10 minutes," Cronkrite said.

The Lakeridge girls knocked off Oregon City in convincing fashion 4-0.

The Pacers controlled the majority of the game, getting a pair of goals from Hayley Furlong and one apiece from Maddie Krauss and Krissy Craig. The win was the Pacers' first in league and they will take on Lake Oswego tonight (Thursday).

The Laker girls lost 4-1 on Tuesday to West Linn after losing to Oregon City last week.

Lake Oswego fell behind 2-0 early but scored a goal in closing minutes of the first half before the Lions put the game away.