A terrific first half is too much for Lake Oswego as top-seeded Lakeridge moves on

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridge's Tyler Rich makes a move in Tuesday's playoff victory over rival Lake Oswego. On a night filled with upsets, the Lakeridge boys lacrosse team wanted to make sure it avoided one against rival Lake Oswego on Tuesday.

Squaring off for the third time this year, the Pacers put together one of their most complete efforts of the season to advance to the quarterfinal 17-7.

Lake Oswego have Lakeridge some problems in the teams' second meeting of the year, rallying to stay with the Pacers into the fourth quarter.

“We told the kids before the game that anything can happen. It's so tough to beat a team twice in the same season let alone three times but we'd always rather face a good team like Lake Oswego than someone we'd just walk over,” Lakeridge coach Curt Sheinin said.

On Tuesday, Lakeridge struck early and often, building a 10-2 advantage and never looking back.

The Pacers grabbed a quick 2-0 lead, getting a goal 30 seconds into the contest from JR McLaughlin and another one minute later from Lonzo Cristobal.

Lakeridge dominated on the draw early in the game and controlled possession for the majority of the first quarter.

McLaughlin notched his second goal on a low shot to make it 3-0 before the Lakers responded.

Alex Krenek got on the board on a hard shot as the Lakers looked to regain their footing.

However, just 90 second later, Chris Barman tossed in a pretty goal while being hit to make it 4-1.

Lakeridge would regain possession and hold for the final shot of the quarter and, after turning the ball over initially, Tyler Rich got it back and found Barman who scored another off-balance shot to make it 5-1.

“We had a lapse the last time we played (Lake Oswego) and let them back in the game. This game was a team effort which is something we may have gotten away from a bit,” Sheinin said.

To start the second quarter, Rich won the ball off the draw and ran down the field for another score in just 12 seconds.

This time Lake Oswego had an answer. After a defensive stop, Lake Oswego goalie Michael Walsh slowly cleared the ball up the field.

As he crossed midfield, Lakeridge refused to pick him up, taking away his passing options. Walsh continued to move forward and eventually found an opening, taking a shot and scoring to give his team a huge boost.

But, again, Lakeridge had an answer and, again, it was Barman. He scored another athletic shot to put momentum back in the Pacers' favor.

“Chris was just plowing through people,” Sheinin said.

Barman would notch his fourth goal of the half to make it 8-2 before Lake Oswego started to stop the bleeding.

The Lakers did a nice job maintaining possession for a long stretch in the second quarter but Lakeridge's defense turned away a man-up opportunity and didn't yield many good looks at the goal.

Lakeridge would all but put the game away in the final second of the half.

John Finegan scored with 13 ticks left on a pass from Rich.

Rich then won the ball off the draw again and scored with just one second left to make it 10-2.

Lakeridge was able to keep Lake Oswego at an arm's length for much of the second half as it locked down the victory.

For Lake Oswego, the loss marked the end of a solid playoff run. Lake Oswego drubbed Tigard 15-4 in its first playoff game and then won a 9-8 overtime thriller against Summit to set up a third meeting with No. 1 Lakeridge.

The Pacers move on to play Sherwood this Friday. On Tuesday, both Sunset and Lincoln, last year's state finalists, lost to Central Catholic and Clackamas respectively.

With a victory on Friday, Lakeridge would play either Central Catholic or Beaverton in the semifinals next week.

“We can't take anything for granted. We know we have to play our best game to win,” Sheinin said.

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