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Laker girls cruise to two easy victories

There are pros and cons to playing each league opponent twice in a season.

The pros are that you have the opportunity to play every team at home once. The cons are that when you have a very strong team, you have to play more games that, quite frankly, aren't much of a contest.

That's what the Lake Oswego girls soccer team is experiencing this year. In their two most recent games, the Lakers have outscored their opponents 11-0 and haven't been challenged as they gear up for games against West Linn and Lakeridge.

It was almost comical last Thursday when Lake Oswego took on Milwaukie. The Lakers scored at will in the first half and held an 8-0 lead before coach Dominic Yambasu had to tell his team to quit shooting.

The final 20 minutes of play was spent dribbling the ball into the box and then taking it back out again so as not to run up the score against a struggling Mustangs team.

The result was a game of keep away that saw Lake Oswego possess the ball for four or five minutes straight without Milwaukie getting a foot on it.

'It's difficult to play that type of a game but it helped us in a different way,' Yambasu said.

In the contest, Melinda Madden recorded a hat trick, knocking in three goals. Madeline Johnson added two goals while Mimi Grunland, Megan Hoss and Jaqueline Wallis each score a goal apiece.

'We played a few people in different positions but when it's not broken you don't fix it,' Yambasu said.

Then, on Tuesday, Lake Oswego had an equally easy time with Rex Putnam. The Kingsmen were able to put up a slightly better fight, mounting a few counter-attacks but the Lakers still dominated the contest en route to a 3-0 victory.

The final deficit likely could have been significantly higher but Lake Oswego narrowly missed on a number of close scoring chances.

'We didn't finish as well as we could have tonight,' Yambasu said.

All three goals for the Lakers came in the opening half. Wallis scored twice while Johnson added the other tally.

Lake Oswego continued to apply pressure after the break but also focused on defense. The Lakers' back line has been playing exceptionally well in recent games and should be a huge strength for Lake Oswego throughout the season.

Cali Reis, Gabbie Lindeman, Tori Gray and Amy Schlesinger have all made significant contributions to the team's defensive efforts and have made life miserable for opposing scorers.

Lakeridge boys 10, OC 1

For the record, the Lakeridge boys soccer team beat Oregon City 10-1 on Tuesday. The margin of victory was hardly unexpected. If they had wanted to, the Pacers conceivably could have scored another 10 goals. But what's the point?

Instead, head coach Paul Slover had his players work on their passing and ball control. To their credit, the Pacers managed to hold onto the ball for a huge majority of the game. And much of it was done with many of the players playing out of position.

When they did score, it looked like a soccer clinic as the Pacers maneuvered past the Pioneers with incredible ease. Half of the team's goals came in the first quarter of the game. It was 8-0 by halftime, but Slover had already pulled back the reins long before then.

Senior Eric DeStefano finished with three goals, giving him 13 just five games into the season. Nick Wilkins also picked up three goals. Plus, Josh Little, Facundo Dipascuale, Jared Martin and Bennett Savage had one goal apiece.

The biggest problem was keeping everyone focused throughout the game.

'We weren't even playing that well,' Slover said afterward. 'But I really appreciated the way the guys played in the second half, because we didn't need to score any more. We needed to work on our game and they did the best that they could.

'You play only 12 (league) games and you want each game to matter … But you never know what to expect (in a game like this) and you never know how you're going to play,' Slover said.

Lakeridge girls 4, OC 0

The Lakeridge girls soccer team appears to be clicking on cylinders after an impressive 4-0 victory over Oregon City on Tuesday.

The game featured two of the three remaining undefeated teams in the Three Rivers League and Oregon City played like a playoff berth was riding on the outcome.

'It was a very physical game,' first-year Lakeridge coach Ryann Furrer said. 'I was so impressed with how hard we played.'

Furrer was especially pleased with the play of her backline players, mainly Kelsey Jacobsen, Abby Cramer, Caitlin Knecht, Sam Schulte, Ellie Halvorsen and Miranda White. Plus, goalkeeper A.J. Griffin made good saves to help preserve the shutout.

Lakeridge led only 1-0 at halftime, after an early goal by Jaimie Landreth. Looking for more production from her offense, Furrer decided to make some adjustments at the break. She wanted her forwards to attack more, and the coach got what she was looking for in the second half.

The Pacers got some cushion when Landreth, a freshman, scored her second goal in the 50th minute. Then, Jenna Horton made it 3-0 with a tally in the 60th minute and Casey Costello got the game's final goal in the 79th minute.

That second-half outburst is the type of scoring that Furrer has been getting from her team all season. But the coach attributed Tuesday's win to the entire roster. It's something she's been getting from her squad every game in this young season.

'All 18 of them are playing hard every time they're out there,' the coach said.

Putnam 4, LO boys 3

The game plan was there, just not the execution. The Lake Oswego boys soccer team dug itself a hole it couldn't quite get out of on Tuesday against Putnam, giving up three goals in the first 20 minutes of a 4-3 loss.

'We had identified who there better players were and, before you knew it, one of those guys had two goals,' coach Fraser Morrison said.

Putnam's counter-attack worked to perfection early in the game and routinely put the Lakers' defense to the test.

'We didn't protect our back four very well. Putnam is a very quick team and when you give the ball away you don't have much time to get back in position,' Morrison said.

Lake Oswego got one goal back before the half when Brian Greenberg knocked in a shot but it still left the Lakers with plenty of work to do.

Early in the second half, Ryo Asai scored to pull his team within one and not long afterward, Troy Hall hit the crossbar, nearly tying the game.

But the contest turned when the Kingsmen were awarded a penalty kick and the ensuing goal gave the hosts a 4-2 lead.

Lake Oswego had plenty of opportunities in the closing minutes but couldn't get on the board again until the final 60 seconds of play when Jackson Ray put in a goal.

'We had our fair share of chances. It's a tough game because, in this league, I don't think there's going to be a big difference between second and fifth place,' Morrison said.

The loss came after a convincing 5-1 victory over Milwaukie in which the Lakers dominated the flow of the game. However, the Mustangs took an early 1-0 lead.

Lake Oswego rebounded quickly. Near the end of the first half, Asai knocked in a shot from nearly 25 yards away to give his team some momentum.

The Lakers took over in the second half. Ray scored twice after the break and Sam Peaslee and Joe Ginn each added a goal apiece. According to Morrision, it was the team's best defensive effort of the season as well.

LO now gears up for games against West Linn tonight and Lakeridge on Tuesday.