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Pacer boys win league title, snap Lions' streak

Lakeridge fends off West Linn in wet conditions

MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridges Paul Seydel tries to settle a ball during the Pacers 2-1 victory over West Linn last week, staying unbeaten on the year.The Lakeridge boys soccer team did something no Three Rivers League team had been able to accomplish since 2012 last week. It handed West Linn a loss.

The Lions, winners of three straight league championships and a 26-0-2 record against TRL opponents since the end of 2012 heading into last week’s showdown, emerged as a surprise team this season and, against the odds, had a chance to claim the TRL crown again.

The Pacers entered the game without a loss all season and the No. 1 ranking in the state.

However, West Linn has been a hurdle that the team has not been able to get over in recent years.

The degree of difficulty was upped in last week’s contest as the Pacers had to play on the road and in extremely wet conditions.

However, Lakeridge controlled much of the game and held on for a 2-1 victory, keeping its hot streak going.

The Pacers entered the game determined, knowing that they could be in for a high-scoring affair against a West Linn team that has been nearly as adept at scoring goals as they have this season.

Paul Seydel had a dangerous early cross that couldn’t find a connection and Adam Kindorf played a nice pass to Myles Willis whose shot missed wide.

Lakeridge put steady pressure on West Linn and had the bulk of the scoring chances in the first 25 minutes.

Just as the Lions seemed to be settling in, Colin Pinkerton made a nice pass to Kindorf, who finished a brilliant run with a goal, putting the Pacers on the board with 12:36 left in the half.

West Linn would knock a header off the crossbar late in the half and Pinkerton fired a shot from close range that was saved at the first-half horn as Lakeridge led 1-0 at the break.

The weather worsened in the second half but the Pacers did well to shore up the defense.

West Linn slowly started to increase its chances but Lakeridge countered with its quick transition.

Jonny Rodas-Hill and Ben Seydel each had shots that narrowly missed.

West Linn came close to tying the game but Lakeridge goalie Cole Evered made a terrific save. That would lead directly to a counter-attack where Rodas-Hill scored to make it 2-0.

However, the Lions would answer less than a minute later.

While West Linn was energized by its goal, Lakeridge stayed aggressive and weathered the storm. The Pacers controlled possession down the stretch and Rodas-Hill had a pair of chances that were narrowly turned away, helping Lakeridge hold on for the big victory.

Lakeridge would survive another scare Tuesday, Oct. 18, fending off Newberg 3-2 to maintain its unbeaten record this year.

The team finishes the regular season Thursday, Oct. 20 at Canby.