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Evenly matched girls teams settle for 0-0 tie

The Lakeridge and Lake Oswego girls soccer teams always seem to be the elite squads in the Three Rivers League. This year, the two teams also appear to be evenly matched. At least that was the case on Tuesday when they played to a 0-0 tie.

It wasn't the outcome that either team was hoping for, but it was great result as far the standings are concerned. With the draw, both teams remained tied for first place in the TRL with 4-0-1 records. If the two teams can maintain their positions, a league championship would be riding on the outcome of the Oct. 18 rematch at LOHS.

As one might expect from a 0-0 tie, defensive play was at a premium on Tuesday.

The Lake Oswego offense had a number of chances in the first half, but the Lakeridge defense managed to thwart every attempt. In the second half, Lakeridge had a clear advantage in shot attempts, including some from close range, but the Lake Oswego defense refused to break.

'It was a good game. Both teams battled and played well,' Lake Oswego coach Dominic Yambasu said afterward.

It's not unusual for a scoreless game to be boring, regardless of who's playing. But this contest had its moments of excitement.

'I thought our possession game was good,' Yambasu added. 'And we tried to attack and I was very pleased about that.'

Lakeridge coach Ryann Furrer was just as happy with her team's effort.

'I was pleased with how we played in the second half. We made some adjustments and came out and played a little harder,' she said. 'It was great when we were moving forward, knowing that we can create some dangerous opportunities.'

The first dangerous opportunity of the game belonged to Lake Oswego's Mini Granlund. It came less than two minutes into the contest when Granlund drilled an 18-yard kick off the hands of Lakeridge goalkeeper A.J. Griffin. The ball then deflected off the crossbar. But, instead bouncing into the goal, it caromed back to Griffin.

It wound up being Lake Oswego's best chance for a goal. The Lakers did have other opportunities later on but none came as close as Granlund's attempt. Melinda Madden and Jackie Wallis each broke free a couple of times in the first half. But the Pacers, who have yet to give up a goal this season, always managed to clear the ball out of harm's way before the Lakers could finish the attack.

In the second half, it was Lake Oswego's turn to hunker down on defense.

Lakeridge had three good chances in succession midway through that period. The first came when Jaimie Landreth made a nice run down the left side, but her shot to the far post was headed out of bounds by Lake Oswego's Meghan Ellis.

Moments later, Lakeridge's Casey Costello had an open alley from the right side of the box and her shot appeared to be headed into the net, but Lake Oswego goalkeeper Kat Colson (who spelled starter Ariana Green) was able to tip the ball away.

On the ensuing corner kick, Lakeridge again had a chance to make something happen but a Lake Oswego defender always seemed to get a foot in the way.

The Pacers put together another flurry with about 12 minutes to go, and then again with about four minutes remaining, but the Lakers' defense was consistently able to clear the ball out of danger.

'Our defense was phenomenal,' Yambasu said. '(Lakeridge) had a lot of assaults and we weathered them very well.'

The same could be said about Lakeridge's side.

'I think there's a lot of good things we can take out of tonight,' Furrer said. 'We didn't give up a goal. We were able to make some adjustments and create some positive opportunities. That I'm pleased with for sure.'

In the end, both teams were back where they started, which was probably appropriate considering the rivarly and the standings.

'These are always interesting games,' Furrer said of her first Civil War showdown as a head coach. 'Not always the best soccer comes out of it, just because everyone is so excited and stuff. But I think the game got better as it went on.'

With nothing being settled on Tuesday, everyone will have to wait until Oct. 18 to determine bragging rights and maybe the league crown.

'(Being part of) a doubleheader, over at the (LOHS) stadium. That will be a game to see,' Yambasu promised.