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Longtime assistant now leads Pacer girls soccer program


Karl Granlund takes the reins this year and inherits a talented and well-rounded team

The Lakeridge girls soccer team is under the direction of a new coach, but their won't be much of an adjustment period for the squad.

Karl Granlund takes over this year after being an assistant for nine of the past 13 seasons.

“I have a strong connection to the players and it's been a really easy transition. (Former coach) Ryann (Furrer) offered me a great amount of freedom to coach so the girls know my message,” Granlund said.

The Pacers have made it a habit in recent years of peaking at the right time toward the end of the season and being a dangerous team in the playoffs and Granlund hopes to continue that pattern.

Lakeridge graduated a talented and tight-knit group of players last year but the team is returning a solid core of leaders, led by captains Sarah Swanson, Brittany Dales and Maddie Krause.

“I couldn't be more happy with what I've seen from our six seniors and our captains,” Granlund said. Lakeridge also returns seniors Lauren King, Krissy Craig and Michelle Buncke.

Swanson returns as the team's goalie and should be among the top in the league.

She will back up a defense that is led by Kaytlin Korte and Mallory Walton, who have each started since their freshmen seasons. Sydney Lautze, Gen Dupre and Michelle Dupre will also contribute on a strong back line. The Pacers had one of the top defenses in the league last season.

At midfield, Dales will be the anchor alongside Nicole Helm, Olivia Onustock, Craig and Buncke and the Pacers will look to control the pace of play through that line.

“There's time where you need to play possession and other times where you need to be direct and we'll try to mix it up,” Granlund said.

Up front, Lakeridge has speed and a trio of very dangerous scorers in King, Krause and Erin Elliott.

“I'd like to hope will be a team that can score a lot,” Granlund said.

The Pacers are off to a 1-2 start but have shown positive signs in all three contests.

“There's a lot we have to build on. There are so many things that happen throughout the course of a season and a lot of luck involved. We just want to keep getting better,” Granlund said.

The Pacers open league play at home against Lake Oswego next week.