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Pacer boys clinch league title with win over Lakers

by: VERN UYETAKE 
Lakeridge’s Blake Dutton tries to run past Lake Oswego’s Aaron Schneider during last week’s 12-6 victory by the Pacers.

The Lakeridge boys lacrosse team wrapped up the league title this year with one game remaining.

The Pacers all but clinched the No. 1 seed last week when it topped Lake Oswego 12-6, completing the season sweep of the Lakers.

Just like in the first meeting between the two teams, a strong opening quarter by the Pacers proved to be the difference.

While Lakeridge didn't hit Lake Oswego with an onslaught of goals in the opening minutes, the Pacers controlled the entire first period, taking a 6-1 lead.

"I felt like we might have been more dominant in the first quarter this time around. We were more methodical," Lakeridge coach Curt Sheinin said.

But, to Lake Oswego's credit, the team didn't back down when faced with a large deficit again.

The Lakers controlled much of the second quarter and began to eat away at the lead.

But Lakeridge's defense held strong and made the Lakers work for every shot.

Despite Lake Oswego controlling possession in the quarter, Lakeridge managed to hold on to its five-goal advantage, leading 8-3 at the half.

"We went to sleep a little bit in the second quarter and we were fortunate to play them to a tie in that period," Sheinin said.

Penalties thwarted Lakeridge in the second and third quarters and Lake Oswego came out strong again in the second half.

But the Pacers continued to limit the damage. Lake Oswego had seven man-up opportunities and only scored on two of them with one goal coming with a two-man advantage.

"I thought our defense played very well for the entire game. Our man-down defense was great," Sheinin said.

Lake Oswego cut the lead to 10-6 with one quarter to play and was in striking distance.

But Lakeridge locked down defensively and succeeded in taking time off the clock on offense.

"We tried to concentrate on ball control and weren't just looking to score all the time," Sheinin said.

Lakeridge executed the strategy perfectly, keeping Lake Oswego off the board in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory.

"It feels good. We definitely wanted to prove, mainly to ourselves, that the first time wasn't just a fluke," Sheinin said.

David Swanson was Lakeridge's leading scorer in the game with three goals and two assists.

Johnny Clayton, Connor Dales and Drew Haroldson each scored twice.

For Lake Oswego, JC Vandenbrink and Billy Able each notched two goals.

Lakeridge then knocked off Canby 16-4 after a tough opening quarter.

The upstart Cougars actually led 2-1 after the first quarter as the Pacers struggled to find the net. Canby would go up 3-1 early in the second quarter before Lakeridge closed the game with a 15-1 run.

Lake Oswego took on West Linn on Tuesday and lost a dramatic overtime game 10-9.

The Lakers played well in the first half, seemingly taking control of the contest late in the second quarter.

Vandenbrink scored back-to-back goals to give the Lakers a 5-3 lead and then, with less than a minute to play in the half, Able notched a goal.

Lake Oswego held the lead throughout the second half but West Linn slowly began to rally.

The Lakers led 9-8 late in the game but West Linn won possession late and set up for a final possession.

Lake Oswego played solid defense but, in a scramble, the ball found its way to Kevin Cathcart. Cathcart got off a shot that hit the back of the net as the buzzer rang, sending the game into overtime.

West Linn would then score the game winner in the final minute of the extra period.

Lake Oswego will actually be rooting for Lakeridge late this week when the Pacers play West Linn. If Lakeridge wins the game, Lake Oswego will finish in second in the Three Rivers League but if the Lions pull off the upset, they will jump Lake Oswego for second place.

"We really need to go into the playoffs with a victory," Sheinin said.