A young crew will look to lead the Lake Oswego girls' lacrosse team back to the promised land. After winning state championships in 2005 and 2006, the team reached the quarterfinals last season and hope to be among the state's elite again.
'We have a lot of new faces and a pretty solid senior core,' coach Lauren Anderson said.
The Lakers are solid from back to front and don't feature a superstar who will carry the team. Instead, it is likely that a different girl or multiple girls will step up on any given evening.
'I think our scoring will be nicely distributed. We have about seven or eight people on attack who can put the ball in the net,' Anderson said.
That kind of depth should give opposing teams fits as they try to figure out who they need to key on.
Defensively, Evan Goldsmith will man the net for Lake Oswego. She was the Lakers' JV keeper last year and has made the transition to the varsity level smoothly.
Marissa Luck and Lauren Groth will anchor Lake Oswego's back line and will also start the team's dangerous transition game.
'I think we should be a very good transition team. That will be a big focus this year,' Anderson said.
The team's depth was on full display in its 13-0 win over Glencoe and a 12-1 victory over Westview. Seven different girls scored in each game as the Lakers dominated from start to finish.
Against Westview, Emily Fuller and Anna Berne each notched a hat trick and Sierra Ainge had two goals and two assists.
'From what we've seen early, we're a very unselfish team. It's about the final score and not about stats,' Anderson said.
MacKenzie Place, Flannery Underwood and Alissa Johnston also scored for Lake Oswego while the team's lone freshman, Dana Kilsby, led the team with four ground balls along with Phoebe Flannigan.
Lake Oswego out-shot Westview 26-2 in the game. Fuller also had a hat trick against Glencoe along with Amy Schlesinger.
But some of the Lakers' toughest competition this year will likely come from within its own league.
As good as the Three Rivers League has been in the past, it could be nearly as competitive as it has ever been this year.
The league features last year's state runners up in Oregon City, a West Linn team which made the semifinals last year and is returning the bulk of its team and a very strong Lakeridge squad.
'Our league is definitely very strong and so is the PIL but we really like what we've seen so far. We have a lot of players who have really improved from last year,' Anderson said.
Anderson also credits much of the success of the program in recent years to its solid youth program which continues to produce talented young players even before they reach high school.
'We're strong because of our great feeder program,' Anderson said.
The Lakers' first league game will be against Lakeridge on April 4.