A slow start proves costly in an 11-6 loss to top-ranked West Linn

by: RAFAEL GONZALEZ - Oregon City senior captain Emily Krupa is trailed by Annie Longtain (14) and Hanna Morford (4) as she gets out on the fast break in last weeks game with top-ranked West Linn. The Pioneers dug themselves an early hole and lost the game, 11-6.The Oregon City Pioneers met their match in high school girls lacrosse on April 22, yielding to top-ranked West Linn 11-6.

It was the lowest scoring match of the season for the Pioneers, and it ended a win string at six games. The Pioneers’ last loss had come in a 12-11 barnburner with then top-ranked Wilsonville on March 21.

Cassie Downing (2 goals) and April Lanz (2 goals) were the only Oregon City players to score multiple goals in last week’s game with the state-title-hungry Lions.

West Linn was led by Kayla Bouchard (3 goals), Annie Longtain (goals), Hanna Morford (2 goals) and Carli Wilson (2 goals).

Oregon City coach Dara Kramer commented on the West Linn game: “I feel like I saw two different games against West Linn. In the first twelve minutes or so, we were flat-footed and playing tentatively. We weren’t committing on either the defensive or offensive end. We quickly went down 6-0.

“We called a timeout, regrouped, and basically played them toe-to-toe the rest of the game. Our transition game throughout the game was not nearly as strong as what we’re capable of. We know how to pass the ball up the field, but I think we were just too focused on eliminating any risk with the ball. This resulted in some lost possessions and missed fast-break opportunities.”

Kramer said she believes that the Lions can be defeated by her Pioneers.

“I believe West Linn is our toughest competition in the state, because their roster is so deep,” she said. “But if we can execute from the beginning — no slow start — and pass the ball quickly in transition, I do believe we can come up with a different outcome next time.”

Oregon City got back on track last Friday, defeating Clackamas 15-5. The Pioneers played the Cavaliers a lot tougher than they did on April 8, when they edged Clackamas 10-7.

Heading up the effort in the Clackamas game were: April Lantz with four goals and three assists; Lindsi Peters, with four goals; Britney Smith, with three goals; Danielle Kirby, with two goals and three assists; and Kennedy Kullmann, with two goals and two assists.

Oregon City keepers Annaliese Hernandez and Gabby Amendolara together made 10 saves on 15 shots on-frame.

Kramer commented on Friday’s game: “We had standout play from senior captains April Lanz and Danielle Kirby on offense during the last two minutes of the game. We knew we had to go for a ten-goal differential to work on our power ranking for playoff seeding, and we were only up by six with two minutes to go. They combined to assist each other on five goals in the last two minutes....

“Freshman Lindsi Peters fired everything up at the beginning of the game, scoring our first three goals. Freshman Britney Smith played her strongest game of the season, scoring three goals and making key plays in our offensive transition.

“Senior keeper Annaliese Hernandez had an outstanding 80 percent save average during her 40 minutes in-goal. And senior captain Emily Krupa dominated draw control, getting five to herself and nine to her teammates — leaving Clackamas with only six draw controls for the entire game.”

Through play last Friday, West Linn (8-1-0, 5-1-0), Lake Oswego (6-2-0, 5-2-0), Wilsonville (13-1-0, 8-0-0) and Oregon City (10-2-0, 5-1-0) were ranked first through fourth respectively in the state in high school girls lacrosse. Wilsonville was atop the Northwest Oregon Conference.

Oregon City entered play this week tied with West Linn in first place in the Three Rivers League. Defending state champion Lake Oswego was in third place in the TRL. Oregon City had a rematch scheduled with Lake Oswego on Monday (April 29). Oregon City upset Lake Oswego 10-8 in a barnburner on April 11.

Oregon City concludes the TRL season hosting Lakeridge (7-3-0, 3-3-0) Friday at 8 p.m., hosting Canby (1-10-0, 0-7-0) next Monday (May 6) at 8 p.m., and playing West Linn on the road on Thursday, May 9.

Kramer said she is hopeful that Oregon City will have a big crowd for this Friday’s home game with the Pacers.

“It’s going to be a special event,” Kramer said. “It’s a fundraiser for the family of Cassie Powell, a local girl who is battling neuroblastoma, a type of brain cancer. We’re hoping to draw a big crowd and raise a lot for Cassie’s treatment.

“Our team has dedicated our season to Cassie, and they wear gold ribbons in their hair with PFC — play for Cassie — on them.”

Friday night will include a raffle for gift baskets, a 50-50 raffle and the sale of commemorative tee-shirts. Among the many items up for raffle will be a gardening basket, a movie-night basket, a chocolate basket and a $50 Stone Creek Golf Club gift certificate.

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