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Pacers edge Lakers in final seconds


The Lakeridge and Lake Oswego boys lacrosse teams have had some epic showdowns in the past few seasons and last week's first meeting between the two powerhouses likely ranks near the top of the list.

With each team posting some impressive non-league victories this year, last week's first Civil War showdown was highly anticipated and the game lived up to its billing.

It was a highly entertaining back-and-forth contest that literally came down to the final seconds with the Pacers ultimately prevailing 8-7.

"What I liked is that both teams played well. It was a very physical but clean game and it was two teams who really respect each other," Lakeridge coach Curt Sheinin said.

As the score indicates, both defenses were outstanding in the contest and both goalies were on their respective games.

Lake Oswego got on the board first, three minutes into the contest on a well-placed shot by Billy Able.

Lakeridge had possession early in the contest and got off a handful of shots in the opening minutes, even hitting the crossbar once but couldn't break through.

The Pacers got on the board seven minutes into the game after Johnny Clayton absorbed contact and knocked in a shot.

That score briefly opened the floodgates for Lakeridge.

Just 40 seconds later, Clayton made a nice pass to Drew Haroldson for a score and, 10 seconds later, Blake Dutton scored on a nice bounce shot.

But, from that point on, Lake Oswego's defense tightened up considerably.

The Lakers composed themselves and controlled the remainder of the opening quarter.

Shortly after Lakeridge went up 3-1, Gary Gates scored on a pass from J.B. Holmes.

Lake Oswego would then get another critical goal with just 10 seconds left in the quarter when Able scored again.

The Lakers would reclaim the lead in the second period on Gates' second goal, this time on an assist from Able.

But Lakeridge countered less than a minute later with Dutton's second goal of the game.

Gates would give Lake Oswego a 5-4 lead midway through the second quarter on a pass from Spencer Anderson but the Pacer defense would keep the Lakers off the board for the rest of the half.

One minute later, Haroldson scored on an assist from Tyler Rich and, with 1:14 left in the half, Dutton completed his hat trick to give Lakeridge a 6-5 lead at the break.

"(Lake Oswego) did a nice job on Johnny, double-teaming him every time he touched the ball and that opened some things up for other guys," Sheinin said.

After an up-tempo first two quarters, the pace in the second half slowed down considerably.

Both the Pacers' David Salamie and Lake Oswego's Sam Fricke made a handful of solid saves to keep the opposition off the board.

Lakeridge's Chris Barman gave the Pacers' a two-goal lead when he knocked in a rebound.

One minute later, Lake Oswego responded when James Watkins toughed in a shot from a tough angle.

But both teams would be kept off the board for the final 7:30 of the quarter. The Lakers had a breakaway in the closing seconds of the quarter but Salamie came up with a huge stop from point blank range.

"That was one of the best games that David's played for us," Sheinin said.

Nerves were on display in the fourth quarter. In quick succession the Pacers hit the bar following a steal and then missed a shot on an open net.

Lake Oswego also squandered a man-up opportunity with a turnover.

Each team made some uncharacteristic turnovers down the stretch. Lake Oswego would break the scoring drought with 6:24 to play in the game on a shot by Seth Goddin.

The Lakers had possession with 1:30 to play but Lakeridge forced a key turnover.

The Pacers kept possession until the closing seconds and got the ball to Clayton. He fired a low shot that was saved nicely by Fricke but the ball squirted away in front of the net.

Haroldson was able to get a stick on the ball and knock it in with just 23 seconds left in the game. Lakeridge won the ensuing face-off and was able to hold on for the victory.

Lake Oswego will play Lincoln tonight (Thursday) and Lakeridge will take on Foothills from California.