Sometimes it just isn't your night. West Linn boys lacrosse coach Mark Flood can't put his finger on exactly why his team came away with a tough 8-5 loss to Lakeridge on Tuesday. The effort was there and the team got some standout performances.
But, in the end, it just wasn't enough to come away with a win over a Pacer squad bent on rebounding from an earlier loss to Lake Oswego.
The Lakeridge defense was solid all night and it helped the Pacers take a big lead in the second half that the Lions couldn't quite make up.
'Their defense surprised me a little to be honest. They really shut down our attack and that's a credit to them,' Flood said.
Meanwhile West Linn was missing one of its defensive stars in Nick Peppler.
The Pacers got off to a quick start, scoring the games first two goals and knocking the Lions back on their heels early.
However, West Linn regrouped and made some adjustments, going to a different set and started to have some success.
'We were really worried there but when we came back and tied it I thought we'd be fine,' Flood said.
The Lions tied the game at 2-2 and then it was Lakeridge's turn to adjust. The Pacers regained the lead at the half and then put the clamps down on defense after the break.
Lakeridge went on a run early in the second half, vaulting to an 8-3 lead.
In that time, the Pacers took over the flow of the game, winning the majority of the ground balls and forcing some turnovers.
'There was a seven or eight minute period where it just seemed like everything went their way. In sports luck is hard-earned so I think that some of our guys just kind of had an off day,' Flood said.
West Linn also wasn't as precise as it has been on its man-up opportunities nor did it defend quite as well when it was a man down.
'We gave up a few goals that we haven't been giving up this year,' Flood said.
Goalie Drew Forseth had another solid game, helping to keep the Lions in contention.
But the Lions weren't down for long. West Linn mounted a spirited rally, scoring the next two goals in quick succession.
The Lions had a few chances to cut into the deficit even further but hit the post a number of times and were turned away by Lakeridge's goalie as well.
Leading the comeback attempt was Michael Fay who led the team with three goals and an assist.
Spencer Smith had the teams other two goals and an assist while Jeff Janoff tallied an assist.
The comeback ended up falling just short but it wasn't for a lack of effort.
'Our kids were exhausted afterwards. They gave it everything they had,' Flood said.
West Linn will play at Clackamas on Friday and then will host league-leading Lake Oswego on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.