The Lakers get payback on the Apollos from the 2021 state playoffs.
Lake Oswego wanted it.
Lake Oswego, tied with the Apollos late in their Class 6A quarterfinal, got the game-winning goal from senior midfielder Megan Ko with nine minutes remaining to beat Sunset 2-1 at Sunset High School on Saturday, Nov. 5.
“Our team fought harder and wanted it more,” said Ko, who also set up her team’s first goal with a corner kick. “It meant a lot for us to win this game because it was Sunset who knocked us out last year in the quarterfinals. Everyone understood how much this game meant and our work rate and desire was what eventually led us to this win.”
“I think the key to tonight’s win was that we wanted it,” said LO senior midfielder Natalie Redpath, who scored the Lakers’ first goal on Saturday. “These are the games that we have been working for all season and everyone wanted to win.”
With the win, the sixth-ranked Lakers’ fourth straight, Lake Oswego improved to 10-5-2 overall and earned a berth in the state semifinals for the first time in more than a decade. No. 3 Sunset, meanwhile, saw its four-game winning streak snapped and ended its year with a 13-2-2 overall record after placing second in the Metro League.
Next up, the Lakers — they finished second in the Three Rivers League — will face TRL champion West Linn in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, at West Linn High School. The second-ranked Lions enter the game carrying a six-game winning streak, a season-long unbeaten streak and a 13-0-3 overall record. They beat Lake Oswego 3-1 back on Oct. 24 in their lone league matchup.
“The semifinal is going to be a competitive game, but I think if we carry our mindset and work rate into Tuesday’s game, we definitely have a chance,” Redpath said.
“We need to want it more and continue to stay focused,” Ko said. “Everything we have done this season has led us to this point. We know what we have to do — it’s just a matter of getting the job done.”
In Saturday’s win at Sunset, the Lakers broke on top 1-0 when Ko sent a corner kick into the Apollos’ penalty box and — in a scrum in front of the Apollos’ goal — Redpath knocked it home 25 minutes into the half.
The Apollos answered with seven minutes remaining before halftime, though, getting a penalty kick from junior midfielder Ellie Felt after LO was penalized for a handball, a goal that knotted the score 1-1 at halftime.
Undaunted, the Lakers just kept working in the second half and, finally, broke through for the game-winner with nine minutes remaining. There, with the Sunset keeper out of goal, the Lakers played a through ball to Ko and she looped a shot into the net from 35 yards out to win the game.
“I think that we played very well,” Ko said. “We came out strong and were able to connect our passes and stay calm under pressure.”
“I felt like the team worked really hard, and collectively as a team, I thought we played well together,” Redpath added. “We created a lot of good opportunities.”
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