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The Lions struggle to find the net against top-ranked Lakeridge and fall 10-6

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn's Drew Crowther tries to track down a ground ball near the Lakeridge net in the Lions' 10-6 loss to the Pacers last week.The West Linn boys lacrosse team had its chances against top-ranked Lakeridge at home last week but ran into strong defense and a terrific goalkeeping performance by the Pacers in a 10-6 loss.

The Lions did plenty of things right in the game, matching the Pacers in possession but West Linn struggled to finish on offense, which is uncharacteristic of how the team has played this year.

The Lions dominated the opening minutes of the game. Lakeridge was whistled for some early penalties but the Pacers did a nice job killing off the pressure early.

West Linn finally broke through nearly five minutes into the game on a shot by Aaron Nelson.

The Lions continued to control the pace of the game but clung to that 1-0 lead until four minutes left in the opening quarter when Lakeridge scored at the very end of a man-up opportunity.

That goal started to turn the momentum in the Pacers' favor and Lakeridge scored in the final minute of the first quarter to take its first lead.

Lakeridge scored again just eight seconds into the second quarter but it was quickly answered by a pretty shot from Ryan Klose.

The teams exchanged possessions and opportunities but, midway through the second quarter, the Pacers scored twice in a 30-second period to take control of the contest.

The Lions continued to get shots off but they were repeatedly turned away by Lakeridge goalie Brooks Dutton.

The Lions would break their scoring drought with five minutes left in the half on a shot by Jack McMenomey and looked to chip into the lead before the break.

However, Lakeridge tossed in a crucial goal with seven seconds remaining in the half to go up 6-3 at the break.

To the Lions' credit, they opened the second half, similarly to how it opened the first. West Linn won possession but, again, failed to find the back of the net.

Lakeridge would score twice to go up 8-3. The Lions continued to fight, capitalizing on a three-man-up opportunity with 1:32 left in the third quarter on a goal by Graeme Henderson.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Lions but the lead to 8-5 with a goal by Dalton Tuor but Lakeridge answered with a goal one minute later and West Linn failed to get any closer.

On Tuesday, West Linn rebounded with a solid 15-2 victory over Canby on the orad. The Lions will take on Clackamas this Friday on the road at 8 p.m.

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