The Pacers thwart the Lions second-half rally in a 12-6 defeat

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn's Ryan Bowers finds some room as he clears the ball in West Linn's league match with Lakeridge on Tuesday. The West Linn boys lacrosse team struggled to find its footing against Lakeridge again on Tuesday, digging itself a sizable first-half hole in a 12-6 loss.

The Lions struggled to get anything going on offense until midway through the third quarter and they appeared to have shifted the momentum with one period to play.

However, Lakeridge managed to right the ship after the Lions trimmed the lead to two goals and dominated the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

The Pacers controlled the early possession and got on the board first two minutes into the game.

Lakeridge started the game by applying heavy pressure on the Lions, forcing turnovers and winning the early battle for ground balls.

Lakeridge's goalie, who stole the show in the first meeting between the teams, had a pair of nice saves in the opening minutes but it was turnovers that hurt the Lions more this time around.

After the Pacers scored with 16 seconds left in the opening quarter, they led 3-0.

It was a physical but fairly clean game overall with limited penalties, none of which were called in the first quarter.

Lakeridge continued to control possession early in the second quarter, winning the majority of ground balls and draws.

Trailing 5-0, West Linn finally broke through on a shot by Ryan Klose with five minutes to play in the half.

Lakeridge would score another goal with less than 20 seconds left in the quarter to lead 6-1 at the break.

But West Linn would start to turn the tables early in the third quarter.

Five minutes into the second half, Dalton Tuor scored on an assist from Ryan Klose. Then, two minutes later, Klose scored on his own to make it 6-3.

West Linn's defense improved dramatically early in the third quarter and the Lions used that to key their transition.

Lakeridge responded with a goal less than a minute later but the Lions continued to put the pressure on.

After playing defense for much of the first half, West Linn controlled possession in the third quarter.

With 1:13 to play in the quarter, West Linn struck again on a goal by Aaron Nelson.

Then, with under a minute to play, Nelson scored again to make it 7-5.

The Lions were instantly back in the game and in position to continue their run with 12 minutes to play.

However, Lakeridge settled down heading into the fourth quarter and refocused its efforts.

The Pacers scored less than a minute into the fourth quarter and quickly took momentum back.

Lakeridge rattled off four unanswered goals to start the period to effectively put the game away.

Tuor finally broke the drought with 4:34 to play in the game but that's as close as the Lions would get.

West Linn still has just one loss to an Oregon opponent this year after it dismantled Lake Oswego 15-5 last week.

The Lions are firmly in second place in the league with four regular season games to play. West Linn takes on Canby tonight (Thursday) and will play a crucial game on Monday against Clackamas.

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