The Pioneers lose only two players to graduation

by: RAFAEL GONZALEZ -     Oregon City sophomore midfielder Lindsi Peters goes on the attack in the Pioneers 13-8 win over Southridge in the state playoffs. The win avenged a 13-11 loss to the Skyhawks in Oregon Citys first game of the 2014 high school season.Sporting one of the youngest lineups in the state, the Oregon City Pioneers more than held their own in Oregon high school girls lacrosse this year.

“We ended up with a power ranking of fifth in the state with a team dominated by sophomores, which is very exciting for our future,” said Oregon City coach Dara Kramer.

Kramer’s team this season advanced as far as the state quarterfinals before meeting their match in defending state champion West Linn, which went on to lose to Lake Oswego in the state final.

Oregon City finished the year with an overall record of 12-6, with five of the six losses in games with West Linn and Lake Oswego.

The Pioneers had three players named to the Three Rivers League’s second all-star team — senior midfielder Cassie Downing, sophomore midfielder Lindsi Peters and sophomore defender Jennifer Burke.

“Nine of the 12 first-team all-state players are from the TRL,” said Kramer. “So earning second-team in our league is huge, because it is so incredibly competitive.”

Peters tied for first in the TRL in assists, was second in the league in caused turnovers, third in ground balls and fourth in draw controls.

Burke was second in the league in draw controls and fourth in caused turnovers.

Downing was third in the league in draw controls and fifth in the league in goals scored.

Coach Kramer commended her league all-stars:

“Lindsi is such a natural athlete. She uses her basketball skills as a point guard to set up our offense. She’s a dynamic impact player for us on both ends of the field—setting up offense on one side and causing turnovers on the other. Her field sense is outstanding, knowing where to cut and where and when to pass. She has tremendous potential to become one of the top players in the state of Oregon.

“Jen is a defender who we glued to the opponent’s fastest, most talented offensive player. Her speed, athleticism, and tenacity give her a defensive triple-threat that’s so difficult to score on. She is equally talented on the soccer field, and I am sure college recruiters are going to be contacting her for both sports. She certainly has the potential and work ethic to become a DI impact player down the road.

“Cassie’s draw controls and speed in the midfield were key to our abilities to score off of fast breaks. She is known for grabbing a draw and starting a fast break right off the bat. Other teams quickly realized that she was our top scorer, and she was almost always doubled or tripled from the beginning of a game. This is a huge compliment, because it means other teams plan for her as a big offensive threat. She has a knack for finding the back of the net under pressure, no matter how many sticks are in her face.”

Kramer commented on her charges’ potential next season and the year after:

“We’ll return all but two of our players next year. Taylor (Bass) and Cassie (Downing) will be greatly missed. But having a continuing core together for the next two years is very exciting for the future of Oregon City girls lacrosse!”

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