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Pacer boys soccer wins fourth straight

Lakeridge's defense keys its success as the preseason winds down

Photo Credit: VERN UYETAKE - Lakeridge defender Logan Insinga clears a ball during the Pacers' 1-0 victory over LaSalle at home on Tuesday.The Lakeridge boys soccer team appears to be gaining steam at the right time with just one non-league game remaining.

After a pair of tough results, the Pacers have been on a tear, most recently outlasting LaSalle 1-0 at home on Tuesday.

As has been a pattern for the Pacers for much of the season, Lakeridge's defense keyed the team's success. The Pacers have been brilliant defending the net this season. After a 5-0 loss to Woodburn which coach Jason Bell described as “a wake-up call”, the team's starters haven't yielded a goal in four straight victories.

Defensive anchors Nick Rooney and Ben Barna have been terrific this season along with goalie Cole Evered.

“They've been fantastic and have also helped start our attack. Outside of a few chances, it really hasn't felt like we've been threatened much,” Bell said.

Against, La Salle, Lakeridge enjoyed the run of play for the majority of the contest and refused to give up many clean looks at the goal.

Still, the Pacers struggled to break through with the opportunities they created. Finally, midway through the second half, Lakeridge finally broke through when Padgett Gustavson hammered in a shot off a corner kick for the decisive tally.

Lakeridge has been solid on set pieces this year, converting on a handful of corner and free kicks but Bell hopes his team will improve at finishing in the run of play.

“Getting a lot of goals on set pieces is terrific and concerning at the same time. We've had chances this year where we've been one on one but couldn't put the ball away,” Bell said.

If Lakeridge is able to formulate a more consistent attack is could prove to be one of the most formidable teams in the league this year.

“We've discussed going into each game with that underdog mentality but I think we can compete well,” Bell said.

Lakeridge will play Oregon City before opening TRL play against Canby.


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