Apollos get past Pacers in quarters

Sunset scores two late goals to pull away from Lakeridge and win 4-2
by: Vern Uyetake TOUGH ‘D’ — Sunset’s Ashley Rogers knocks the ball away from a Lakeridge player during her team’s 4-2 win on Saturday at Lakeridge High School.

LAKE OSWEGO - Start fast. Finish strong.

Sunset took those words to heart in its Saturday state quarterfinal at Lakeridge High School, scoring its initial goal in the game's first minute, then adding two more inside the final 10 minutes to beat the Pacers 4-2.

It wasn't easy, though. Up 2-0 at the half, the Apollos saw the Pacers rally to tie the game at 2-2 before finally getting the game-winner on a penalty kick with eight minutes left to play.

'The two penalty kicks, especially the last one late in the second half, really took the (power) out of the Lakeridge momentum,' Sunset coach Ben Durano said. 'They worked hard to tie the game late in the second half and committing another silly foul in the box really hurt them emotionally.'

Lindsey Kroon got things started early for the Apollos, sending a through ball to Alicia Alarcon top of the box in the first minute. Alarcon then flicked it on to Emmy Owens on the left side and she drove it home for a 1-0 edge.

Midway through the opening half, Claire Smith sent a through ball to Owens, who beat the last defender, then was taken down by their last defender for a penalty kick. Alarcon made the PK to boost the Apollos' lead to 2-0 at the half.

'Despite the wind and rain, Sunset pretty much dominated play throughout the first half,' Durano said. We 'came out strong, winning possession from the beginning.'

Lakeridge didn't go down easily, though. Twelve minutes into the second half, Lakeridge's Brittany Dales sent a corner kick to the near post, Sunset failed to clear the ball and Katey Jacobsen knocked it in at the near post from point-blank range.

The Pacers tied the game at 2-2 less than five minutes later, sending a pass to Jacobsen again, and she split Sunset's Taylor Coon and Kristen Jondahl, then beat goalie Taylor Luty for the score.

'Lakeridge came out very aggressive and Sunset did not match that intensity' in the second half, Durano said. 'Getting scored twice in a short span served as a wakeup call for Sunset.'

But Sunset closed this one with a flourish. With eight minutes left on the clock, Smith sent a through ball to Williamson in the box and she was fouled by a Lakeridge defender for a second penalty kick. Alarcon converted again for the 3-2 lead.

Finally, in the 76th minute, Alarcon beat a defender wide left and crossed the ball to Owens, who shot the ball to the right and beat the goalie for the final 4-2 margin.