Lake Oswego is 3-0 with an experienced and dangerous squad

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego's Kyle Gazzigli was one of the team's primary targets last year and will be again as part of a high-powered offense. 
An experienced and balanced Lake Oswego boys soccer team hopes to be among the best in the league this year and perhaps a state power.

The Lakers have been impressive in three early games, outscoring opponents by a combined 10-1.

Lake Oswego has 12 seniors on the varsity roster and some strong up and coming talent in a very balanced group.

Defensively, senior Duncan Atwood returns in goal and in front of him is a core group of three more seniors. Evan Bernert, Max Moede and Bradley Karstadt form a strong and experienced back line that has yielded very few chances for the opposition so far this season.

Lake Oswego's midfield will be a key component this year. Nick Turner will be a focal point for the team at center mid.

“We'll look to play a lot through him,” coach Fraser Morrison said.

Reed Sandblast and Shaheen Safari will also hold down the midfield along with a talented freshman, Ethan Elliott, whose family recently moved into the area from England.

Up front, Lake Oswego returns two of its primary scoring threats from last year in Alex Krenek and Kyle Gazzigli, both who possess plenty of speed and touch on the ball.

Avery Kott and Clayton Dirkse also give the Lakers a scoring threat along with Joe Seaman and Ward Kirschbaum, who's already notched a pair of goals in a 5-0 win over McNary.

The Lakers have plenty of depth and players who can fit in at multiple spots on the field.

“We've been switching things up so far and it's nice because a lot of our players are fairly flexible. We can play a lot of guys and the level doesn't drop,” Morrison said.

Lake Oswego will also be adaptable in terms of its style of play.

“We'll look to get the ball down and play controlled, more so than we have in the past,” Morrison said. However, with the team's speed, the Lakers can also play the ball up quickly to its forwards when necessary.

“We'll be aware of what our best option is during the year,” Morrison said.

Lake Oswego was second in the Three Rivers League last year before being ousted in the first round of the playoffs and will look to take a step forward this season.

“It's difficult to predict but we should be able to compete with everyone,” Morrison said. Lake Oswego opens league play next Tuesday against Lakeridge.

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