The Lakeridge girls lead by as many as 14 goals in their victory
It may have been a crosstown rivalry.
It may have been a game between friends.
But none of that prevented the Lakeridge girls water polo team from going after Lake Oswego hard.
The Pacers — facing the Lakers in the twice-yearly Battle of the Lake at Lake Oswego School District Pool on Monday, Sept. 26 — grabbed a five-goal lead in the first quarter, extended their edge to eight at halftime and used that blistering start to pave the way to their 18-8 victory.
“I’m really proud of all of our team,” said Lakeridge sophomore Sydney Brandvold, who led her team with five goals in the win. “We’ve been working really hard in practice to perfect that kind of (performance). We were clean today so it paid off.”
“It was a really great experience,” said Pacer senior Eleni Antonis, who scored one goal in the win and assisted on two others. “We’re friends with the people at LO. This is really just like a friendly competition until things start to get serious.”
With the win, second-ranked Lakeridge’s second straight, the Pacers improved to 1-0 in Three Rivers League play and 9-0 overall. No. 6 Lake Oswego, meanwhile, saw its two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 0-1 in TRL play and 9-7 overall.
Despite the painful nature of their loss, the Lakers promised they would learn from it and use it to make them better.
“I think being able to play good teams like Lakeridge and Barlow gives us the opportunity to improve, even if we’re losing or down by 10,” said Laker senior Carmen Karsonovich, who led her team with four goals. “It puts pressure on what we already know and helps us to learn under pressure from a hard team.”
“I think we kind of knew what was going to happen, but (we knew) that we could learn from the other team and learn from our mistakes,” added LO sophomore Noa Ziv, who scored twice in the fourth quarter.
While the Lakers played hard throughout the contest, the Pacers were tough as nails in the game’s first three quarters. They showed as much in the first quarter when they sped out to a 5-0 lead in the contest’s first 5 minutes, 32 seconds, with Brandvold scoring three times in a span of 2:15, while Lakeridge’s other scores came from junior Munroe Blem (assisted by Brandvold) and junior Ella Ferguson (also set up by Brandvold).
Lake Oswego responded with a late goal by freshman Delaney Carroll — she connected with one second left in the quarter after rebounding a shot by sophomore Cassidy Schneider — to make it 5-1, but the Pacers were even better in the second period.
There, Lakeridge shut out Lake Oswego for all seven minutes while adding four more scores for a 9-1 halftime lead. Ferguson got that started with a shot from point-blank range, Brandvold followed with back-to-back scores separated by just 44 seconds and Ferguson closed the half with a lob over LO goalie Ashleigh Yob for her team’s eight-goal lead.
The Lakers managed to force home two scores in the third — the first by sophomore Olivia Schaffer (assisted by sophomore Una O’Hare) and the second on a backhanded shot from Karsonovich (set up by junior Diana Lamb) — but the Pacers didn’t slow down a bit.
Instead, they put together their biggest offensive quarter of the game, pouring in seven goals to extend their lead even further. Six different Lakeridge players scored in that span, with junior Elise Rabe hitting twice and the other goals coming from sophomore Adrienne Medak, Antonis, sophomore Ava McDowell, senior Sophia McCarty and senior Mia Stonelake.
“A lot of us played club together over the winter and spring and summer,” Brandvold said. “We’ve just built a lot of chemistry inside and outside of the pool and everyone has grown as players so we’re doing what it takes.”
To the Lake Oswego’s credit, the Lakers kept fighting in the fourth quarter and closed the game with a 5-2 scoring edge. Ziv notched the first two of those, one on a breakaway assisted by sophomore Morgan Hoover and the second on a follow shot after a Hoover attempt.
Karsonovich added the last three goals in the game’s final 2:13, each from short range, with two assisted by Ziv and the other by Hoover.
“We had no seniors last year, so we are not only close, but we are here and geared up and ready to go for this season,” Antonis said.
“Although today was tough, it gives us an opportunity to work on our communication and just recognize our weak spots, because obviously, with a team that good, they’re going to take advantage of those,” Karsonovich added. “We can use what happened today to improve.”
Next up, the Lakers host Forest Grove at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, while the Pacers play at Tualatin at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
See the Photo of the Day from this game by clicking here.
See the complete photo slideshow from this game by clicking here.
To see even more images from the Lakeridge-Lake Oswego contest, or to buy prints or digital downloads from this game, go to milesvance.smugmug.com.
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