A close battle between the states top two teams goes to LO again

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn's Carli Wilson fends off Lake Oswego's Lexi Cheetham during Monday's league contest with the Lakers.The West Linn girls lacrosse team hoped to exact a manner of revenge on Lake Oswego on Monday for its narrow loss in last year's state championship game. But the Lakers weren't ready to relinquish the title of “team to beat” so easily as they continued their winning streak against Oregon opponents, topping the Lions 8-5.

West Linn controlled much of the first half, keeping Lake Oswego's offense in check with tough pressure all over the field. The Lions were adept at forcing turnovers but the Lakers were equally as stingy on defense.

After scoring less than a minute into the game on a shot by Hanna Morford, the Lions struggled to get off uncontested shots and the Lakers' goalie, Julianna Ramey, didn't make things easy when West Linn did get a good look.

The Lakers scored a pair of goals to take the lead before the Lions answered on a pretty shot by Natalie Byrne with an assist from Morford.

The closing minutes of the first half got a bit strange. With Lake Oswego leading 3-2, the Lakers appeared to score following a penalty with 2:43 remaining. However, after an inspection, the player was deemed to have an illegal stick and the goal was disallowed.

One minute later, West Linn's Carli Wilson scored following a penalty but her goal was also waived off because of the same infraction, leaving the score 3-2 at the break.

West Linn scored in the opening minute of the second half as well, when Kayla Bouchard tossed in a goal off a pass by Annie Longtain.

However, the game would turn a few minutes later. After a whistle, Bouchard was struck in the head by an errant ball and was attended to for several minutes before she left the field with help.

Lake Oswego would dominate the next few minutes of the game once play resumed and scored three goals in less than 90 seconds to go up 6-3.

West Linn would respond three minutes later when Jazmine Agcaoili scored following a penalty. The Lions appeared to have cut the deficit to one a few minutes later but Mariah Gatti's goal was called back due to another illegal stick penalty.

The Lakers would score two unanswered goals to regain control of the game, leading 8-4 with 9:43 to play.

While the Lions were fast and aggressive for much of the game and looked to score quickly in transition, Lake Oswego was far more methodical on offense, looking to use the clock and swing the ball around for chances.

West Linn got another goal from Byrne to cut the lead to three but couldn't capitalize down the stretch. Lake Oswego gave the Lions some opportunities as they struggled to chew up the clock as much as they would have liked but the Laker defense continued to hold fast and didn't give up another goal as they held on for the win.

Last Friday West Linn picked up an impressive 12-4 win over Wilsonville. West Linn controlled the game from start to finish against a very strong Wildcat team.

Gatti and Morford each notched hat tricks in the game while Megan Longtain controlled three draws and led the team with six ground balls.

West Linn will travel to take on an improved Lakeridge team this Friday at 7 p.m.

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