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New coach gets LHS girls off to fast start

The Lakeridge girls soccer team's new head coach has experienced her fair share of success on the field. Ryann Furrer won three state titles while playing goalie for Tigard High School and then went on to compete for Oregon State University.

The Lake Grove Elementary teacher now takes over at Lakeridge after five years as the head coach at Tigard and has been fortunate enough to receive a very talented team in her first year as a Pacer.

Furrer has coached a number of her current players during the club season and is impressed with how well the team plays together.

'It's a great group of kids and they really play hard. That's what I'm excited about,' Furrer said.

Lakeridge has a strong mix of senior leadership and young talent this year. The Pacers have five freshman on the varsity roster and two in the starting lineup.

And some familiar names return to the squad as well. Senior Samantha Berryman has recovered after missing virtually all of last year with an ACL injury and should be one of the team's top scorers this year. She is joined up front by Riley Costello, another talented forward with plenty of goals under her belt in her varsity career.

At midfield, Lakeridge has loads of experience. Jenna Horton, Melanie Deane and Leslie Hundhammer anchor the line and will be responsible for setting up much of the Pacers' offense.

Kelsey Jacobsen is the team's center defender and will lead the back line along with a pair of freshman and a sophomore.

The defense will protect returning goalie AJ Griffin, who had a terrific campaign last year. All of that combines to make up a balanced line-up from back to front.

'It's a good balance of talent. They're very competitive and really get after people,' Furrer said.

With that much talent, Lakeridge expects to be a strong contender in the always competitive Three Rivers League. As has been the case for the past few years, Lake Oswego and West Linn are expected to be the Pacers' biggest obstacles in their quest for a league title but there does not appear to be much separating those three squads, which makes every league contest crucial.

In Lakeridge's opening game on Tuesday, the Pacers knocked off visiting Roseburg 2-0, scoring a goal in each half and controlling the flow of the game.

'Overall I was pleased. We came out with a lot of energy. We still need to work on our organization but we played well,' Furrer said.

Horton knocked in Lakeridge's first goal of the year midway through the opening half on an assist from Berryman and the Pacers limited Roseburg's scoring opportunities.

Just over 10 minutes into the second half, freshman Jamie Landreth knocked in an insurance goal to help put the game away. Lakeridge had a number of chances to increase its lead throughout the contest and hit the post on multiple occasions.

The Pacers will play against Southridge today (Thursday) before opening their league schedule at home against West Linn.

'The Three Rivers League is always competitive. It's tough to know what to expect until you see it,' Furrer said.