Lakeridge scores twice late and will face Lincoln on Saturday

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridge's Taylor Douglas, left, runs on to a pass during the first half of Tuesday's 2-0 play-in victory over Roseburg. The Lakeridge boys soccer team played its way into the postseason on Tuesday, toppling Roseburg 2-0 thanks to a solid final 20 minutes in a game played at Lakeridge.

The Pacers controlled the majority of the game and had far more scoring opportunities but were kept off the board until late in the contest.

Lakeridge, which finished fourth in the Three Rivers League, has had issues at times this year with being able to finish and, for a while, it looked like that might come back to haunt them against the Indians.

Early in the game, Lakeridge had a great opportunity when Ryota Ito played a nice pass to a streaking Taylor Douglas who hit a hard shot right at the goalie.

Douglas was an early target for the Pacers and got behind the Roseburg defense a handful of times in the first 15 minutes.

Eleonso Cristobal had a pair of shots saved as Lakeridge controlled the early action. Roseburg put a little pressure on the Pacer defense midway through the first half, sending a chip shot just over the top. Then, with 13 minutes left in the half, Roseburg drilled the crossbar with a shot and the ensuing rebound attempt missed just wide in what would be the Indians' best scoring chance of the day.

Lakeridge's Bruno Homedes made a nice pass into the box to Remy Mederos but he couldn't get a clean shot off and Ito had a dangerous shot late in the half that just missed wide as the Pacers and Indians played to a 0-0 tie through 40 minutes.

“Our defense has been solid this year but we have to make sure we're not overconfident,” coach Jason Bell said.

Lakeridge continued to put pressure on Roseburg to start the second half, getting a shot from Homedes that was saved and a pair of near misses from Zack Goldstein.

With 15 minutes remaining, the score was still tied when Cory Barba couldn't quite catch up with a cross from close in.

Then, three minutes later, Lakeridge earned a dangerous free kick just inches outside of the goal box.

Roseburg set up its wall and Barba took the shot, bending it to the near post for the game's first goal.

“We've scored two-thirds of our goals off of set pieces this year. We've just struggled a bit from the field of play and need to convert those chances,” Bell said.

Lakeridge would dominate the game's final 12 minutes.

With just over four minutes left in the game, the Pacers picked up some insurance and, again it came off a free kick.

Barba took the attempt again and, this time, played a ball into Simon Homedes who flicked it with the back of his head into the net.

Roseburg couldn't muster a counter-attack as the Pacers continued to keep the pressure on.

“It was important that we didn't just sit back on our lead,” Bell said.

The Pacers advanced to the 32-team playoff bracket with the victory and will travel to face Lincoln on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

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