Lake Oswego tops another league foe

by: Matthew Sherman, 
Lake Oswego’s Flannery Underwood runs the ball upfield during last week’s 10-6 win over West Linn. Underwood had an assist in the game.

The Lake Oswego girls lacrosse team continued its hot streak on Monday, knocking off another strong league opponent to get to 9-0 on the year. Monday's victim was West Linn 10-6. The Lakers dominated 75% of the game but things were not looking good for a while.

In fact, the Lions actually led the game 5-1 midway through the first half. West Linn was dominating the game and the first 10 minutes of play occurred almost entirely on Lake Oswego's side of the field.

But then the Lakers came around, and when they did, it was a completely different team on the field.

Lake Oswego started to win virtually every contested ground ball and put steady pressure on West Linn, forcing numerous turnovers.

As a result, the Lions struggled to put together many more scoring opportunities for the remainder of the half. And when they started to control possession Lake Oswego completely turned the game around.

'I think we woke up. We came out a little flat and it took us awhile to get up for the game,' coach Lauren Anderson said.

The Lakers rallied to score three quick goals prompting a time-out from West Linn with one minute to play to try and regroup and maintain some momentum heading into halftime.

But Lake Oswego's Anna Berne won the face-off and the Lakers went down for an important game-tying goal just a few seconds before the break.

And the Lakers didn't let up. Just 13 seconds into the second half, Lake Oswego took the lead and set the tone for the rest of the game. West Linn responded with its only goal of the half to knot the score once more.

The next few minutes went back and forth. Lake Oswego controlled the flow of the game but a strong effort from West Linn's goalie kept the Lakers off the board.

Then MacKenzie Place buried a shot to give her team a 7-6 lead it wouldn't surrender. Lake Oswego's defense continued to be dominant, rarely allowing a scoring chance down the stretch. And the team wasn't content to hold the ball to preserve the win. The Lakers scored three more times late to put the game away.

Sierra Ainge led Lake Oswego with three goals and an assist and Annika Sohlstrom had a pair of goals. Seven Lakers scored and eight had at least one point in the contest.

'This is a different looking team than we've had. We have great balance and it's much more defensively focused but I couldn't be happier to be getting contributions from everybody,' Anderson said.

Lake Oswego now has a victory over two of their three biggest in-league rivals. And, with a victory over Oregon City on Thursday, the Lakers will be in a terrific position to earn the league's No. 1 seed. Oregon City is currently 3-0 in league and only has one loss to St. Mary's this year.

'There shouldn't be many surprises with (Oregon City). They like to run the ball up the field. Hopefully our defense will be able to disrupt their passing a bit,' Anderson said.