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The Pioneers have been a scoring machine in preseason

by: RAFAEL GONZALEZ - All-state defender Danielle Kirby (26) has become a leader on offense this season. The Oregon City senior co-captain had seven goals and seven assists in last weeks routs of Jesuit and Westview.Oregon City High School’s girls lacrosse team closed out the preseason strong, upending Jesuit 18-7 and Westview 17-5 in games played last week in Oregon City.

Ranked third in the state, the Pioneers are scheduled to host defending state champion Lake Oswego (2-0) in a Three Rivers League match Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Oregon City stadium.

“Lake Oswego is definitely going to be a challenge,” said Oregon City coach Dara Kramer. “Especially since we’re still missing starters Taylor Bass (sprained ankle) and Cassie Downing (concussion)....

“Lake Oswego has a lot of depth on attack, so it’s all about how cohesive our team defense can be. In a game like this, where we know both teams can score, possession is so important. Every draw control and ground ball will be huge.”

The Pioneers (5-1), who lost to Wilsonville 12-11 on March 21, outscored their six preseason opponents by an average tally of 16-7.

The Pioneers have had balanced scoring. McKenzie Rollins (4 goals), Danielle Kirby (3 goals, 3 assists), April Lanz (3 goals, 2 assists) and Emily Krupa (3 goals) led eight girls who put the ball in the net in last week’s rout of Jesuit.

Kirby (4 goals, 4 assists), Lanz (4 goals, 3 assists) and Kennedy Kullmann (3 goals, one assist) led seven players who found the net in the 17-5 rout of Westview.

Kramer commented on the Jesuit match: “Senior captain Emily Krupa dominated the draw, getting 13 to herself and five others to teammates. She was spotting the ball so well, and the timing on her jumps was spot on....

“Senior captain Danielle Kirby had an outstanding offensive game. Danielle was a first-team all-state defender last year, but she is so versatile that we’re using her as a leader on attack this year.”

Commenting on the Westview match, Kramer said: “Senior captain April Lanz managed to score four goals and make three assists, even though Westview had her targeted with double- and triple teams from the very beginning of the game. She was calm and cool under pressure....

“We were very excited to see freshmen becoming regular contributors. Lindsi Peters scored two goals and had three assists. Freshmen Alyssa Schroeder and Jennifer Burke are really stepping up on team defense....

“Senior goalie Annalise Hernandez had an 80 percent save average in her half, which is very high for a lacrosse goalie stat.”

Hernandez and Gabby Amendolara combined to make saves on eight-of-13 shots on-frame by the Wildcats. Hernandez played a complete game in-goal and had saves on 9-of-16 shots in the Jesuit game.

In other preseason games this spring, the Pioneers defeated Century 18-5, Liberty 19-5 and eighth-ranked Sunset 15-10.

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