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A young but impressive squad looks to challenge the leagues elite

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Emily Elott, left, is back as part of a strong midfield for a Lake Oswego team that hopes to challenge for a league title. With just four seniors on the roster, the Lake Oswego girls soccer team is a young group but not one that is lacking in experience.

The Lakers expect to be an improved group from last year, which finished in fourth in a very difficult league. This year, the league may be even tougher but coach Dominic Yambasu believes the Lakers have the talent to be in the conversation for the league title.

Yambasu believes that one of his team's biggest strengths is its balance from back to front. The Lakers are experienced on the back line and have some exciting young talent up front that could make for a very entertaining season.

Playing in front of sophomore goalie Emma Heil are junior Sarah Passadore and seniors Kate Hearon and Emily Wolff. Senior Chrissy Rumpakis will also help shore up the defense when she returns from an injury and freshman Emma Hunter has filled in admirably.

In the midfield, senior Lizzy Darling will be an anchor along with Sydney Pluhacek, Emily Elott and Addie Farance, all who have varsity experience.

Lake Oswego has multiple players who are capable of scoring but will look to get the ball up to its talented forwards in Madison Lamont and freshman Cami Dozois.

Lamont and Dozois both have speed and a knack for finishing in front of the goal. Libby Dozois will also be a key player for the Lakers when she returns from an ankle injury.

“We don't have that one flashy, go-to player this year. Everyone contributes,” Yambasu said.

The Lakers are off to a strong start to the season, picking up wins over Beaverton and McNary and earning a draw with Wilson.

The team is focusing on improving its chemistry and getting familiar with each other as it hopes to peak late in the year.

“We have to play together and trust in each other and to understand that we can't take the game on by ourselves,” Yambasu said.

The Three Rivers League could be extremely tough this year as Clackamas and Lakeridge, two teams that made the semifinals last season, return strong squads and West Linn is improved.

“It's unbelievably competitive but our goal every year is to challenge for the league title and I think we have a chance,” Yambasu said.

Lake Oswego hosts Glencoe tonight (Thursday) and will open league play next week against Lakeridge.

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