Madison Lamonts first-half goal holds up in the league-opener for both teams

by: JOHN HOCH - Lake Oswego's Madison Lamont winds up for what would be the only goal of the game, leading the Lakers to a 1-0 victory. The Lake Oswego girls soccer team wanted to take a big step this year and prove that it was a legitimate threat in the strong Three Rivers League. The Lakers have finished out of the top-three in the league for three straight seasons but felt that they possessed the talent to change that streak this year.

On Tuesday, Lake Oswego did well in proving those high expectations right, knocking off defending league champion Lakeridge 1-0 in both teams' league opener.

It took a while for the Lakers and the Pacers to settle into the action at Lake Oswego. Neither team had many chances in the first 15 minutes of play.

“When these teams play, there's always so much emotion and a lot riding on it, it takes a while to settle down,” Lake Oswego coach Dominic Yambasu said.

Lakeridge started to gain an edge in possession midway through the first half and got shots from Natalie Bristol and Nicole Helm.

Lake Oswego was effective early on with counter attacks, getting a pair of opportunities from Madison Lamont, one of which was turned away nicely by Lakeridge goalie Hope Daskalos.

For the final 15 minutes of the first half, Lake Oswego started to take control. The Lakers kept the ball on Lakeridge's side of the field for the majority of that period and it paid off with 10 minutes to play.

Lamont teed off on a deep shot that she buried in the top corner of the net, giving her team a 1-0 lead.

“Madison is a definite threat with her ball-striking and her speed,” Yambasu said.

In the second halt, Lakeridge increased its pressure, getting a handful of opportunities to knot the score. A dangerous run ended with another shot from Helm missing just wide while Shannon Walton had two opportunities deep in Lake Oswego territory that were narrowly turned away.

Perhaps the best chance of the night for Lakeridge came midway through the second half when Bristol won a ball behind the Laker defense and drilled a shot that was saved off the crossbar by Emma Heil.

“I thought Emma really came up big for us tonight,” Yambasu said.

Sensing that Lakeridge's pressure might eventually yield a score, Lake Oswego made a concerted effort to continue its attack instead of staying back and focusing on defense.

The Lakers focused on keeping possession and had a few chances to knock in an insurance goal.

Lakeridge would earn a late corner kick in the final minutes but it went unanswered as the Lakers held on for a big early victory.

“This is a very big confidence builder for a young team,” Yambasu said.

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