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Boys lacrosse loses heartbreaker to LO

From a fan's perspective, Tuesday's boys lacrosse game between West Linn and Lake Oswego could not have been much more exciting.

But that was only a small consolation prize for the Lions, who had control of the game early and then had chances to win at the end. But West Linn couldn't take advantage of its opportunities and wound up losing 11-10 in overtime.

'We had our chances,' West Linn coach Mark Flood said. 'I think we had a lot better scoring chances than they did but we didn't capitalize.'

The Lions looked like the dominant team in the early going as they jumped to a 3-0 lead. And the lead could have been even bigger.

'If could have gone up 5-0 we would have been hard to beat,' Flood said.

Instead, the Lions let things get out control a bit by committing six consecutive penalties. Lake Oswego used those opportunities to completely change the momentum of the game.

The Lakers eventually took a 7-4 lead in the second period and settled for a 7-5 advantage at halftime. But Flood still felt pretty good about his team's chances at that point.

'I wasn't worried because I knew we could score,' he said.

The coach was right but Lake Oswego didn't back down and held a 10-8 lead in the fourth quarter.

There was no need to panic, though, as the Lions came back to tie the game at 10-all on a goal by Jeff Janoff with just under two minutes remaining in regulation.

Conceivably, West Linn could have put the game away down the stretch, because the Lakers began to collect penalties just like the Lions had done in the first half.

But West Linn couldn't take advantage of its opportunities as the game headed into overtime.

Lake Oswego then won the game on an almost impossible-to-stop shot by Lars Lider, who finished the night with three goals.

Even though the Lions lost, Flood found it hard to complain about how his team's defense played at the end.

'LO's winning goal was nice,' the coach said. 'They had to make a nice shot to beat Joey (Peterson),' the West Linn goalie.

While Lider played great, West Linn's Xander Waibel was probably the game's star. He turned in a phenomenal performance with six goals and two assists.

'He was breaking his man down and really taking advantage of it,' Flood said.

But Waibel wasn't a one-man show. The Lions also got two goals from Eddy O'Mara and one each from the Janoff brothers, Ryan and Jeff.

The Lions' defense also turned in a strong effort, especially down the stretch.

'Our defense really shut (Lake Oswego) down in the fourth quarter. They played well,' Flood said.

West Linn's main problem was an inability to score on most of its man-up situations in the fourth quarter. That probably ended up costing the Lions the game.

'For whatever reason, we weren't getting good looks,' Flood said.

Overall, though, 'I thought we were good enough to win,' the coach added.

The loss dropped the Lions (4-2) into third place in the Three Rivers League, which contains three of the five or six best teams in the state.

West Linn will be back in action tonight (Thursday) with an 8 p.m. game at Putnam. That contest will be followed by three consecutive home games, starting with next Monday's game against Oregon City.