Lake Oswego girls soccer beats Lakeridge 2-0
The Lake Oswego girls soccer team was ready for this one.
The Lakeridge girls came prepared, too.
In the end, however, the Lakers used a fast start and consistent defensive effort to knock off the Pacers 2-0 in their annual Battle of the Lake rivalry game at Lake Oswego High School on Monday.
"This was an important game for us, and wearing the ALS jerseys especially, it was a game everyone really wanted to win so everyone just worked their hardest," said Lake Oswego senior goalkeeper Ally Hock, who made six saves in the victory.
"The Battle of the Lake is always one of the biggest games," said sophomore forward Taylor Jones, who scored Lake Oswego's first goal on Monday. "Even if it's not the hardest game, it's one of the most personal. Everyone has an emotional attachment to it."
With the win — the team's second straight — the 23rd-ranked Lakers improved to 2-0-1 and fourth place in Three Rivers League play, and 2-4-3 overall. The No. 32 Pacers, meanwhile, fell to 1-2-0 in TRL play and 3-4-1 overall.
"Everyone just wanted to come out and give it our all, especially for the seniors," said senior defender/midfielder Taylor Morelli, who helped the Pacers hold the Lakers scoreless for the final 58 minutes, 5 seconds of the game. "It's their last time playing (Lake Oswego) so we had to give it our all."
"We've had some trouble connecting passes but at the very end of the game, I think we learned how to connect passes and we found a rhythm," said junior midfielder Sydney Utech. "I think that's going to help a lot going into the next games."
That said, the Lakers started Monday's contest at a sprint, getting a shot from Ava Harman in the game's first minute, then a dangerous miss by Jones on a volley that slipped past the left upright 10 minutes later.
Then, with 26:42 remaining in the opening half, Lake Oswego broke through. After pushing the ball into the Pacers' penalty box, sophomore Billie Fitkin blasted a hard shot into a group of players in front of the Lakeridge goal. The ball rebounded off one of those players and came right to Jones; she controlled the ball seven yards out of goal and knocked it home at the right post to make it 1-0.
"She hit that ball pretty hard, it bounced off the back of that girl's foot and somehow came directly to my feet," Jones said. "It was pure luck. It was amazing."
The Lakers were back on the scoreboard less than 10 minutes later, this time cashing in to make it 2-0 when senior midfielder Emma Devine took a free kick from 32 yards out of goal and knocked it over Pacer keeper Avery Basso's hands into the left corner of the net.
Lakeridge, however, rallied from there, began to possess the ball and create some offensive chances, with Emily Bachman and Sydney Okoneski both notching shots on goal in the final 17 minutes of the half.
"Even at the end of the first half, we connected more passes and we had way more confidence going into the second half," Utech said.
The Pacers continued pushing in the second half, and though they didn't score, they created two of their best chances late in the game. The first of those came with 18 minutes remaining when Emma Krauss crossed the ball from the left side of the field to Bachman for a point-blank shot that missed just high over the crossbar at the right side of the Laker goal.
And then, with 11 minutes left on the clock, Okoneski took a free kick from 20 yards out of goal on the left side of the field that forced Hock to leap to deflect the ball away from the top-right corner of the Laker goal.
"We started to let down slightly and … Lakeridge did take advantage of the moment when we started to break down, but then we picked it back up," Hock said.
"I think everyone was just motivated to work harder, win all the 50-50 balls and I think we got it down better in the second half," Morelli said.
In upcoming games, the Lakers host Sherwood at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, while the Pacers host St. Mary's at 7 p.m. Tuesday.