LO lost some dynamic players but an experienced group looks to pick up the slack

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Alex Krenek makes a move against a Tigard defender during last week's non-league game. Krenek returns as a key forward for the Lakers this year.The Lake Oswego boys soccer team lost a lot of talent from last year's squad which advanced to the state semifinals, but the Lakers have an experienced group returning with 12 seniors on the roster and they hope to make another run late into the fall.

The Lakers are breaking in a slightly different formation this year than they normally run, opting to go with a 3-5-2 to accommodate a strong group of midfielders on the squad.

That contingent includes Evan Bernert and Matt Fisher out wide and Nick King in the middle.

Nick Turner, Andy Elott and Jamie MacRitchie will also play big minutes at midfield.

“We'll try and get the ball through our central midfielders and then get it out wide. The preferred method is to get the ball down and play but we always have the option to be more direct,” coach Fraser Morrison said.

The Lakers currently have three different goalies who are all seeing time in the preseason. A strong and experienced back line is also helping protect the net led by Griffin Graves and Daniel Kelly.

Robby Husbands will also play a big role on defense.

“We've given up a few goals on errors this year but it's good to give them up now as opposed to the end of the season,” Morrison said.

Up front, Lake Oswego will target Kyle Gazzigli and Alex Krenek who will each look to create and set up scoring chances.

“They're big, strong and physical players who can create things with their pace,” Morrison said.

The Lakers are off to an 0-3 start but have played some very strong opponents.

Last week Lake Oswego took a 2-0 lead against Tigard before the Tigers rallied for three unanswered.

“We're working on different patterns and getting players familiar with each other. It's going to take a little bit of time for it to sink in,” Morrison said.

The Lakers hope to be in the mix again with the top teams in the Three Rivers League as they open league play next week.

“It's always difficult to forecast but with the quality we have, I'd expect to be within shouting distance,” Morrison said.

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