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Pacer girls dominate Forest Grove in play-in game


Lakeridge travels to No. 3 Tualatin this weekend

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridge's Shannon Walton looks to bring down a ball during Tuesday's 3-0 play-in victory over Forest Grove. The Pacers will now face Tigard in the first round of the playoffs.The Lakeridge girls soccer team dropped out of the top-three in the TRL last week with a tough loss to Canby in its regular season finale, but convincingly played its way into the playoffs with a 3-0 home win over Forest Grove.

The game wasn't even as close as the final score suggests as the Pacers dominated the young Vikings team, which consists almost entirely of sophomores.

Lakeridge controlled the possession and had dozens of scoring chances while yielding very few on the other end.

The Pacers scored first less than eight minutes into the contest. Forest Grove made a defensive miscue and was unable to clear a ball in the goal box. Nicole Helm took advantage, gaining possession and scoring to the far post.

Forest Grove relied on a counter-attack for the bulk of its offense but the Pacers did a nice job getting back defensively.

Lakeridge had a pair of chances off of dangerous corner kicks that just went unanswered with Gen Dupre and Olivia Onustock each sending headers just wide.

Mallory Walton and Helm also had chances that sailed high and Helm drilled a shot off the crossbar with less than 10 minutes to go in the half. On the rebound, Onustock nearly connected but her shot just missed the frame.

Forest Grove had one of its only real chances in the closing seconds of the half but the shot was saved by Hope Daskalos.

Lakeridge still led just 1-0 despite thoroughly controlling the game and put heavy pressure on the Vikings to start the second half.

Natalie Bristol drew the Forest Grove keeper away from the net but her shot missed just wide. Just a few seconds later, Erin Elliott took a shot from the left side that was partially blocked by the Vikings' goalie but the ball rolled into the net, giving the Pacers a 2-0 advantage.

Bristol nearly scored again 20 seconds later but her shot was saved nicely.

With 15 minutes left in the contest, Lakeridge put the game away. Onustock knocked in a nice half-volley to make it 3-0 as the Pacers continued to control the contest until the final whistle.

With the victory, Lakeridge moves on to face Tualatin on the road this Saturday.