Pacers, Lakers move on in lacrosse playoffs
Lakeridge and Lake Oswego's boys lacrosse teams each advanced to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs with wins on Tuesday, moving one step closer to a potential rematch in a state title game.
The Pacers got past Grant 12-8 and then topped Wilsonville 12-6 to earn the right to face Southridge tonight (Thursday) at home.
But Lakeridge was dealt a blow in the second half of its first playoff game.
Goalie Jonny Internicola was clearing the ball and running up toward midfield when he twisted his knee and tore his ACL. Internicola has given the Pacers a spark all year and, when he went down, the team rallied around back-up goalie Warren Nielson.
Nielson filled in admirably and helped keep the pesky Generals at bay. Lakeridge was able to preserve its four-goal lead in the second half to advance.
'Warren stepped up for us. It was his first real action and he did very well,' Pacer coach Curt Sheinin said.
And Nielson was equally solid on Tuesday against a dangerous Wilsonville team.
The Pacers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead before Wilsonville rallied with three unanswered goals of its own. Two of those goals came when the Wildcats were a man up.
'We let in a freak goal and I think that took the wind out of us a bit and we let up,' Sheinin said.
The game stayed tied into the half but Lakeridge made sure that would change quickly.
The Pacers dominated the third quarter, scoring five goals and taking an 8-4 advantage into the final stanza.
Lakeridge controlled possession for much of the game and defender Anthony Marincovich did a terrific job marking Wilsonville's Division 1 player Alec Jernstedt.
'We won the ground ball war for about three-quarters of the game and were pretty focused throughout,' Sheinin said.
Once the Pacers took the lead in the second half they didn't let up . Andrew Clayton led the offense with four goals and an assist. James Higgins also had four goals for the Pacers. Conor Ryan had two goals and two assists for Lakeridge and Michael Hoch and Nick Berardi each added a goal apiece.
The Pacers move on to face the Skyhawks, a team that Lakeridge beat 14-10 earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, Lake Oswego earned a first-round bye after winning the league's No. 1 seed.
'The bye is enormous. We took a day off and watched some film. That rest was big and it showed,' Laker coach Peter Lamb said.
Lake Oswego played a strong all-around game, topping Glencoe 12-3.
The Lakers jumped out to a 4-1 lead after the first quarter and led 7-2 at the half, controlling the ball for virtually the entire contest.
'We had some really good possessions which was nice to see. We made a few stupid penalties in the fourth quarter but, for the most part, we were popping and ready to play,' Lamb said.
The Lakers never let Glencoe back in the game after taking control of the contest, which is something that has plagued them at times this year.
'Our Achilles heel has been that we play well but turn the ball over a lot and turn the game into a track meet,' Lamb said.
Lake Oswego also got a solid performance from its goalie, Forrest Jackson who made a handful of difficult saves.
On offense, Sean Silverstein and Blake Heim led the Lakers.
The Lakers will host Hood River tonight (Thursday) a team that has given both Lincoln and OES competitive matches this year.
'They're definitely no slouch. But I feel we're really putting things together right now and I don't think we've peaked yet,' Lamb said.
The semifinals and the championship game will all be held at West Linn High School. Semifinal games will take place on Wednesday and title game will be held on Saturday.