Neither team can find the net in a physical and emotional league opener

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego's Blair Dozois, left, and Lakeridge's Michelle Dupre battle for a ball in the second half of Tuesday's Civil War game. The Pacers struck early and rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Lakers at home.The first showdown between the Lake Oswego and Lakeridge boys soccer team was about as exciting a contest can be that doesn't feature any scoring.

After 80 minutes of back and forth play and dozens of scoring chances, the teams settled for a scoreless draw to open up league play on Tuesday.

The game was upbeat and physical as is often the case between the two rivals and featured a contrast in styles. Lakeridge sought to control possession to methodically set up its scoring chances while Lake Oswego got the ball quickly up to its forwards and peppered the Lakeridge defense with shots.

The first half featured strong scoring chances from both squads. Lake Oswego had more chances but the Lakeridge did a nice job not yielding many wide open looks.

Lakeridge made the most of its opportunities, countering quickly on the other end and using the speed of its front line to try and get behind the defense.

Both squads played to a scoreless opening 40 minutes and the second half mirrored the first.

One of Lake Oswego's best chances came six minutes into the second half when Kyle Gazzigli hit a shot toward the top corner that was turned away by a remarkable save from Lakeridge's Toby Holstein.

Jamie MacRitchie followed with a shot from close range following a corner kick that was saved.

Lakeridge withstood the early pressure from the Lakers and rallied with some strong scoring chances as well.

Alex Ingraham hit a hard shot that was saved and Brad Spencer hit a shot that sailed over the top of the frame.

The physical nature of the game escalated as the minutes ticked down and the referees called a loose contest for the most part.

Gazzigli laid a nice pass to Hunter Ware which was headed just over the net and Holstein was drawn out of the net to make a nice save on a run by the Lakers' Alex Krenek.

Lake Oswego made its strongest push of the game to score in the final 10 minutes. The Lakers sent in numerous shots, including a pair from Krenek which narrowly missed but continued to be denied.

The final whistle sounded and both teams settled for a hard-fought draw.

Lake Oswego will host West Linn tonight (Thursday) while Lakeridge will be at home for Clackamas.

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