The Pioneers upset the defending state champs 10-8

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City senior midfielder April Lanz goes on the attack in last weeks upset of top-ranked Lake Oswego. Lanz scored three goals and made two assists in the Pioneers 10-8 victory.Oregon City High School’s girls lacrosse team couldn’t have asked for a better week.

They opened league play last week upsetting defending state champion and top-ranked Lake Oswego 10-8 on Thursday, after dropping Clackamas 10-7 earlier in the week.

“We had the lead from the very beginning and never let up,” Oregon City coach Dara Kramer said of the Lake Oswego game. “The girls showed a tremendous amount of focus, and they played with so much heart.”

“The key was our defense,” said Oregon City senior co-captain Emily Krupa. “We had really hard crashes to keep them from going to goal....

“We worked together on defense and offense, doing just what we’d practiced. Our teamwork was the best it’s been this season.”

Kramer singled out senior keeper Annaliese Hernandez for her solid play in-goal; senior attacker Kennedy Kullmann, for her “timing” and “deception” on drives to the goal; and senior midfielder April Lanz, for her ball control at the offensive end of the field.

And Kramer praised seniors Danielle Kirby and Krupa for their effectiveness in shutting down a Lake offense that had averaged 14-plus goals heading into the game.

Hernandez had 12 saves on 20 shots on-frame, for a 60 percent save percentage.

Kullmann and Lanz headed the Pioneer offense, Kullmann with a game-high four goals, and Lanz with three goals and two assists. Krupa, McKenzie Rollins and Britney Smith also found the net for Oregon City in the victory.

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City junior Cassie Downing (2) and Pioneer senior Danielle Kirby (26) put the pressure on Lake Oswegos Madeline Reece in last weeks game with the defending state champions.Lexi Cheetham and Madeline Reece had two goals apiece to lead Lake Oswego.

“This means a lot to us,” said Krupa. “Not only because it helps us in our league standings. But because Lake Oswego beat us two years ago in the state final and last year in the semifinals, and they didn’t lose in league last year.

“It’s nice to know we can go toe-to-toe with the best in the state and come out on top....

“This tells the rest of the state that we are a contender for the state title.”

While it was the first loss of the 2013 season for Lake Oswego, it was the seventh win in eight games for Oregon City, whose only loss came in a March 21 barnburner with Wilsonville, 12-11.

The Pioneers play Canby on the road this Friday, and they entertain West Linn next Monday in an 8 p.m. game at Pioneer Stadium.

The Lions (5-1) defeated Wilsonville 12-4 in an April 5 game with the Wildcats, but they lost to Lake Oswego 8-5 in an April 8 game at Lake Oswego.

Lake Oswego, West Linn, Wilsonville and Oregon City were ranked first, second, third and sixth in the state respectively heading into play last week. Clackamas was ranked 11th.

The Pioneers used a balanced attack to get by an upset-minded club from Clackamas 10-7 in their Three Rivers League opener, played at Clackamas on April 8.

Kramer said that the defensive play of senior Mallery Wellschlager on Clackamas offensive star Cydney Bartlett was pivotal in the Pioneers’ victory. Bartlett scored just two goals, well off her average of 4.7 goals a game.

Balance was the key on offense. Six different Oregon City players scored goals, led by Cassie Downing, Danielle Kirby, April Lanz and McKenzie Rollins, who had two goals apiece. Emily Krupa and Lindsi Peters also found the net for Oregon City.

Hernandez had nine saves on 16 shots on-frame.

Kramer said she was not at all surprised that the Cavaliers gave Oregon City a game.

“We expected it to be close,” Kramer said. “They were close to us last year, and they return almost all of their lineup.”

Kramer added, “We had a period toward the end of the first half where we let them fast-break three in a row. Other than those few minutes, we played well.”

Other scorers for Clackamas were: Hannah Glennon with two goals; and Maria Clegg, Desiree Jacobson and Sarah Jones, each with a single tally.

Clackamas slipped to 2-5 on the season with the loss.

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