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OC deals No. 2 LO its first loss

Girls lacrosse
by: John Lariviere, Oregon City senior Hannah Mills, right, takes a high stick from Lake Oswego's Annika Sohlstrom in route to a 9-5 Pioneer victory.

LAKE OSWEGO - Oregon City High School's girls lacrosse team left it all on the field in the second half of a Friday night match with state powerhouse Lake Oswego.

The result was a 9-5 victory over the Lakers (13-1, 8-1), who entered the contest ranked second in the state and undefeated on the season. The Pioneers outscored the Lakers 5-1 in the second half, after battling to a 4-4 standoff in the first period.

'We picked it up a lot in the second half,' said Oregon City senior defender Hannah Mills. 'We really stepped up our intensity a lot and we did a really good job of communicating all over the field…..'

The Pioneers had the Lakers so frustrated by their domination of the play in the second half that two Lake Oswego players drew yellow cards and a third LO player was red-carded.

'This was a completely different game from the first time we played them,' said Oregon City coach Dara Kramer. 'We've recovered from a few injuries and we were playing as a team all over the field….

'Our midfield game was key. We had solid transitions from defense to offense and our midfield defense caused 13 turnovers on their transitions….We played with consistency and tenacity.'

'This was a huge win for us!' said Mills. 'It made our whole season. They've always been big competition for us, ever since my freshman year.'

The win avenged an earlier 9-8 loss and it left the third-ranked Pioneers (12-2, 8-1) and Lakers tied for first place in the Three Rivers League with but one league match remaining.

Oregon City plays at winless North Clackamas (2-13, 0-9) tonight. Lake Oswego was to meet sixth-ranked cross-town rival Lakeridge (10-4, 5-3) on Tuesday in its league final.

Should Oregon City and Lake Oswego tie for first place the two teams will likely meet in a tiebreaking playoff game next Tuesday at a neutral site.

Katie Sanburn was huge on offense in last Friday's win. The Pioneer senior attacker put four balls in the net and assisted on a fifth tally.

Junior midfielder Natalie Harrington scored twice. Sam Ross, Maddie Garcia and Tessa Keuler added single tallies.

'This was a huge win for us,' said Sanburn. 'It was very emotional. We've been practicing so hard just to play our game right….

'I think the key for us was that we played our game and we didn't retaliate when they fouled us. We made smart decisions and worked together.'

Oregon City goalie Jessica Kuehlwein, who missed the first encounter with the Lakers because of a bout with mononucleosis, was in good form on Friday, making seven saves and earning a .583 save percentage on the night.

The Pioneers also took care of business in an April 30 game with Lakeridge.

Garcia and Harrington led the way, as the Pioneers thumped the Pacers 17-7.

Garcia scored six goals and assisted on a seventh tally. Harrington scored four times and had four assists.

Sanburn added four goals; Kaitlyn Harper scored twice and Keuler added a single tally.

Kuehlwein made eight saves.