by: Vern Uyetake, 
Lakeridge’s Conor Ryan fires a shot at the West Linn goal during Tuesday’s 8-5 victory over the Lions.

Heading into the season this year, it was expected that Lake Oswego, Lakeridge and West Linn would vie for the league title in boys lacrosse.

Following last week's loss to the Lakers, Lakeridge found itself needing a win over the Lions to stay competitive in that race.

And the Pacers came through, putting together a solid defensive performance en route to an 8-5 victory.

Lakeridge jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead as the Pacers were determined to put together a solid effort from the opening whistle.

However, West Linn came back quickly with a pair of goals of its own, tying the score before the half.

'In the second quarter we started making some small errors, dropping a few balls and things like that,' coach Curt Sheinin said.

Lakeridge was able to regroup after the break and played some of its best lacrosse of the year. The Pacers won a handful of crucial ground balls and the long-stick defense of Curtis Kisky, Anthony Marincovich and Ben Smood played well and kept the Lions off the board.

'It was really just a great team effort. We told the kids that we know they're young but that's not an excuse anymore. Now they have to go out and get it done,' Sheinin said.

The Pacers struggled with penalties in the game but did a superb job on their man-down defense to frustrate West Linn. Meanwhile, Lakeridge went on a run and scored six of the next seven goals.

Jeff Garrett, Lakeridge's senior midfielder, notched a hat trick in the game.

The Pacers held an 8-3 lead late in the second half but the Lions weren't finished. West Linn started controlling the flow of the game and scored two quick goals which forced Lakeridge to make some late adjustments.

The Pacers were bailed out by the play of goalie Jonny Internicola who turned away a handful of well-placed shots from the Lions as the team held on for one of its biggest victories of the year.

'Jonny had a very solid game. When West Linn made a run he stepped up,' Sheinin said. The win puts the Pacers in a tie for second place with the Lions although they hold the tiebreaker with the head-to-head victory.

'We still haven't shown that we can put a full 48 minutes together but if we can do that, we could be very good. This is definitely a step in the right direction though,' Sheinin said.

Lakeridge will face Riverdale and Oregon City next week and won't play the rematches against Lake Oswego and West Linn until May.

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