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Laker boys soccer team gets defensive in two playoff wins

The Lake Oswego boys soccer team notched a pair of hard-fought one-goal victories last week, advancing to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs for the first time since 2008.

The Lakers, a No. 6 seed in the bracket, first took on Centennial last week on a grass field that had been chewed up the day before from the Eagles' play-in football game.

Centennial got on the board in the first half, converting on a corner kick to go up 1-0.

Lake Oswego struggled to get its offense going but continued to put the pressure on the Eagles.

Late in the game it appeared that Lake Oswego was headed for a difficult early defeat but, with less than 10 minutes to play, Sean Nelson ran on to a loose ball from near the top of the box and buried it, giving the Lakers new life.

The game went to overtime and, five minutes into the second extra period, Jason Luhnow connected on a volley into the corner of the net as the Lakers avoided penalty kicks and advanced to the second round.

Lake Oswego then faced a road trip on Tuesday, travelling to North Salem to face the Central Valley league champions.

This time it was the Lakers who struck quickly. Ryan Favero laid a perfect through ball to Andrew Jeffery who beat a defender and then the goalie for a score.

Then is was up to Lake Oswego's defense to hold the line again.

The Lakers' defense has been a huge strength in recent games. Nelson, Matt Fischer, Daniel Kelly and Jack Halvorson have combined to make up a very strong back line that has been exceedingly difficult to score on.

"We defended well all over the field and put pressure on them," coach Fraser Morrison said.

Lake Oswego continued to attack in the second half while keeping the Vikings off the board.

"We told the guys at the half not to rest on a 1-0 lead. We felt we could still create chances," Morrison said.

North Salem possessed the ball in Lake Oswego territory for extended portions of time late in the game but couldn't come up with an equalizer.

The Lakers move on to the quarterfinals this Saturday where they will host Jesuit.

Earlier in the year, the Lakers lost 3-2 to the Crusaders, the No. 3 ranked team in the state according to OSAA.

The game will be at 4:30 p.m.