With one more minute or two, the Lakeridge boys lacrosse team might have been able to pull off a stunning rally against West Linn on Tuesday.
Instead, the Lions' first-half flurry was too much to overcome and the Pacers dropped their first game of the year to an Oregon opponent 12-10.
West Linn jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the first quarter, winning draws and ground balls as they played with energy.
The lead swelled to 8-1 before Blake Dutton tossed in a shot with 3:17 left in the half.
The Pacers nearly scored again to close out the second quarter but West Linn's defense came up with a stop.
Slow starts have hindered Lakeridge this year and this time it cost the team dearly.
"It's been a point of emphasis and one that hasn't been resolved," coach Curt Sheinin said.
The teams traded goals to open the second half. Lakeridge's Tyler Rich and Johnny Clayton each scored but the Pacers missed some opportunities to significantly cut into the lead.
A goal from Drew Haroldson made it 10-5 but West Linn answered with a score late in the third period and let 11-5 with one quarter to play.
Haroldson scored again two minutes into the fourth quarter but West Linn answered just eight seconds later after winning the draw.
Lakeridge got a goal from JR McLaughlin midway through the quarter as the Pacers slowly started to control the game.
West Linn tried to eat clock but the Lakeridge defense forced turnovers.
With 3:09 to play in the game, Lakeridge rattled off three goals in 60 seconds to make it 12-10, giving the Pacers renewed life.
"We didn't stop playing and we definitely had our chances," Sheinin said.
Lakeridge also earned a man-up opportunity with two minutes to play but couldn't convert.
The Pacers had two turnovers in the final minute as well as West Linn held on for its first win against Lakeridge in eight years.
Lakeridge takes on Oregon City on Friday and will host Lake Oswego next week.
"We know we can't lose another game if we want to lock up the No. 1 seed in our league," Sheinin said.