Lakers keep TRL title hopes alive, while Lions keep playoff hopes alive
At this point of the season, every game is a playoff game.
The Lakers and Lions went at it hammer and tong on Monday, Oct. 24, at Lake Oswego High School, with Lake Oswego and West Linn eventually settling for a hard-fought 0-0 tie.
“It’s all about finishing chances,” said senior defender and team captain Luc Scipio del Campo. “We played well; we had our shots that hit the post. Outside of that, sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way, but I think the team played well.”
“I feel like we have momentum going,” said LO freshman defender Luca Ridgewell. “The boys have confidence, momentum. The boys haven’t stopped; they’ve kept on going and you saw that today. We kept on going and we didn’t stop.”
With the tie, the No. 20 Lakers extended their unbeaten streak to five games, moved their Three Rivers League record to 3-0-1 and their overall mark to 7-3-3. No. 26 West Linn, meanwhile, stretched their unbeaten streak to three games, ended their TRL record at 2-1-2 and took their overall mark to 5-6-3.
“We definitely needed a tie or a win just to make it into the playoffs,” said West Linn senior defender Seth Sorenson. “We have trouble on corner kicks, but we practiced it last practice and it definitely helped out.”
“Lake Oswego has a talented team and they have some good attacking players, but I think — especially in the second half — we really held it down at the back,” added West Linn junior goalkeeper Aidan Bartko-Ferreiro.
Next up, the Lakers play crosstown rival Lakeridge (the second-ranked Pacers are 4-0-0 in TRL play and 11-1-1 overall) in the annual Battle of the Lake at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Lakeridge High School with the Three Rivers League title on the line.
“Lakeridge is always a big game,” Scipio del Campo said. “The fact that it’s also the end of the season and it’s their senior night makes it a very big game. I think we’re all excited to play.”
“We like to be an underdog and I think that’s what we are,” Ridgewell said. “People are seeing us as a team they can push over, but we’ve pushed people over and gone for it and beat teams. Look at Lincoln (the Lakers tied the No. 3 Cardinals 1-1) and Sherwood (the Lakers beat the No. 14 Bowmen 4-3).”
For the Lions — they reached the Class 6A state title game last year for the first time in school history — Monday’s tie kept their state playoff hopes alive. The OSAA’s rankings freeze at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, and West Linn will know its state playoff destiny then.
“Our seniors don’t want to turn in our jerseys yet,” Sorenson said. “Hopefully, we’re going to go as long as possible. Hopefully, teams are scared to play West Linn.”
“Our offense, if we can just create those extra chances and get those goals in, we have a strong, stable defense,” Ferreiro-Bartko said. “I think we can go all the way.”
In Monday’s game, the Lakers held the upper hand in possession and offensive chances in the first half, but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. Indeed, by the end of the night’s first 40 minutes, Lake Oswego had six shots (three on goal) and three corner kicks, while the Lions managed three shots (one on goal) and no corner kicks.
West Linn got two shots from junior Gabe Valdes and its lone shot on goal from junior Isaac Kensinger (stopped by LO senior keeper Hayes Donaldson), but it was the Lakers who had the best chances to score.
The first of those came from LO junior forward Evan Huber, who beat a Lion defender up the right sideline, cut to the Lions’ goal and missed a hard shot left with 11 minutes to go in the half. The second came when LO junior Bryce Stewart hammered a shot off the West Linn crossbar and Laker junior Eli Beauchamp saw his follow shot batted away by the diving Ferreiro-Bartko with two minutes left in the half.
The Lakers continued to show their strength in the second half — they had five shots in the final 40 minutes (with three on goal) — but still didn’t score. West Linn, meanwhile, managed just one shot in the second half.
“We had a clean sheet so there’s always that and we go from there,” Scipio del Campo said. “Moving into the playoffs, I think we have a good shot at making a run.”
For West Linn, the Lions just hoped they did enough to extend their season.
“We stayed on our marks, followed their runs and we got the good result that we needed to get in the playoffs,” Ferreiro-Bartko added.
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Updated: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Lake Oswego had lost previously to Sherwood. The story has been corrected.