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Lakers oust Pacers, OES to reach finals

Lake Oswego gets another date with West Linn for the state championship

MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lake Oswego's Carlie Leach is surrounded by a quartet of Lakeridge defenders during last week's playoff victory against the Pacers.There will be another rematch. It was widely anticipated that the West Linn and Lake Oswego girls lacrosse teams would meet up again in the state title game and neither team did much to assuage those predictions in the regular season.

Lake Oswego got past rival Lakeridge 14-3 in the quarterfinals and then endured a stiff challenge from OES, winning 14-11 to set up another meeting with the Lions, who knocked off Jesuit in the semis at Wilsonville High School.

Against the Pacers, the Lake Oswego defense was stellar, forcing 15 turnovers while the Lakers scored the first six goals of the game.

But Lakeridge battled until the end, using a late flurry at the end of the first half to stay with Lake Oswego.

Lake Oswego was in control early in the first half with Avery Hawes scoring first on an assist from Lauren Gilbert.

Garland Horwitz then scored on a nice pass from Carlie Leach and, less than a minute later, Gilbert scored from a free position.

After Lake Oswego goals from Gilbert, Claire Bergevin and Leach, Lakeridge made some adjustments defensively and kept the Lakers off the board for a 10-minute stretch.

Averi Basso also made a handful of nice saves to keep the Pacers within striking distance.

The Pacers finally got on the board with less than four minutes to play in the half on a strike from Marie Hatfield.

Hailey McCulloch would also score as the Pacers looked to chip into the lead.

But Lake Oswego was too much, pulling away early in the second half. Gilbert had three goals and four assists while also capturing six draws. Samantha Castle also had three goals.

Against OES on Friday, Lake Oswego had to withstand a late charge.

The Lakers were in control in the first half, trading goals with OES and building a 9-5 advantage at the half.

Gilbert was a wrecking crew for the Lakers as she won seven draws to go along with five draw captures from Leach.

But OES wasn’t finished. The Aardvarks came out rejuvenated in the second half and scored three straight goals to cut the lead to one.

Lake Oswego showed its experience, however and never panicked. Goalie Riley Hertford had a solid game with 13 saves, keeping OES at bay and the Lakers moved the ball around on offense.

Seven different players scored for Lake Oswego, led by five from Leach while Gilbert added four to go along with a pair of assists.

Rowan Anderson had four ground balls for Lake Oswego.

The Lakers and Lions played for the state title on Wednesday night but results weren’t available at press time.