The West Linn girls soccer team is having possibly its worst season in the last 10 years. So, last week's match-up between Lakeridge and West Linn didn't seem like that big of a deal.

After all, the Pacers hadn't lost a game all year. But they have one loss now after suffering a 3-0 setback at the hands of the Lions last Thursday.

'It wasn't one of our better games,' Lakeridge coach Ryann Furrer said.

The loss wasn't from a lack of effort. The Pacers looked good in the early going, but nothing seemed to go their way.

'We created some dangerous chances early on but couldn't finish them,' Furrer said.

To West Linn's credit, the Lions played like a playoff berth was riding on the outcome, even though it was their first league win of the year.

Despite the loss, Lakeridge remained in first place in the TRL. But it showed the Pacers that they have to stay focused all of the time.

'It was a good wake-up call,' Furrer said.

That wasn't good news for Putnam, which was next up on Lakeridge's schedule in a game that was played on Monday. In winning that contest 4-0, the Pacers looked more like the team that steamrolled many of its earlier opponents.

'We dominated … and we had a lot of great possessions,' Furrer said after the Putnam game. 'The whole team played well.'

It didn't take long for Lakeridge to set the tone in that game. Melanie Deane, a senior midfielder, got the first goal (an unassisted tally) in the game's 13th minute.

That's the way it stayed until just before halftime when Casey Costello scored on an assist from Abby Cramer.

The Pacers made it 3-0 when Sam Berryman scored on an assist from Jenna Horton in the 46th minute. Then, Kathryn Little got the final score when she netted a pass from Sarah Rissberger in the 57th minute.

Furrer attributed a big part of the Pacers' win to their ability to control the ball in the midfield. Deane, Rissberger and Horton, all midfielders, played big roles in that effort, the coach said.

The team's defense, which has been anchored by Cramer and Kelsey Jacobsen on the back line and A.J. Griffin in goal, also has been solid this year. In fact, they hadn't been scored on until a recent 2-2 tie with Clackamas.

To retain their top spot in the league standings, the Pacers will have to get past three playoff-caliber teams during the stretch run of the season. That stretch started with Wednesday's game against Oregon City. Unfortunately, the results from that match were not available because of deadline constraints.

Then, after a bye next Tuesday, Lakeridge will take on Lake Oswego on Thursday, Oct. 18. A crucial game against Clackamas is on tap for the following week.

'We've had a good season,' Furrerr said. 'Now, it's time to play well again.'

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