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The annual Battle of the Lake is just that - hard-fought, aggressive and a deadlock

REVIEW PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lake Oswego senior Chase Cumberland goes high into the air for a header during his team's 2-2 tie against Lakeridge at Lake Oswego High School on Monday.After a tough loss last week against Newberg, the Lake Oswego boys soccer team team knew it had to regroup quickly.

Up next on the schedule: Reigning Class 6A state champion and crosstown rival Lakeridge in the annual Battle of the Lake rivalry game.

In a game between two of the top teams in the Three Rivers League, both sides were looking for one play that would make the difference. Unfortunately, neither could find it on Monday. In a fast-paced and physical game, the two sides walked away with a 2-2 draw at Lake Oswego High School.

"It was a good game," said Lake Oswego senior forward and captain Ryan Seaman, who scored both of his team's goals on Monday. "It was well fought. Both teams played really well."

"I think we're both pretty talented sides and the score reflects that," added Lakers senior midfielder Chase Cumberland. "Everyone was intense."

With the draw, the Lakers moved to 0-1-1 in TRL play and 4-1-3 overall. Meanwhile, Lakeridge moved to 1-0-1 in league play and 5-2-2 overall.

"It came down to who got the luck and who didn't," said senior forward Collin Pinkerton, who scored both of his team's goals. "Everyone was being aggressive and really wanted to win. Everyone was fighting hard trying to get that last goal."

The game started out quickly, with each side pressuring its opponent with physical challenges to create turnovers and get out on the counterattack. After a free kick in the eighth minute saw Cumberland miss to the left, Lake Oswego quickly regained possession on the restart. Lake Oswego senior Michael Campanelli then flipped a nice lead ball to Seaman near the top of the box; he gained possession with one touch, squared up and blasted a shot past the Lakeridge keeper for an early 1-0 lead.

After 20 minutes of aggressive play and turnovers by both sides, the Pacers were finally able to convert one of their opportunities. Lake Oswego senior Kaiyo Shi saw the ball stolen by Pinkerton, who raced down the field and, in a one-on-one situation, used a nice fake to freeze the Lakers' keeper and convert a goal while sliding to his left.

But the Lakers were quick to answer off the restart, working their way down the field and finding Seaman in the box for a sliding goal that whizzed over the keeper's outstretched arms to make the score 2-1 for Lake Oswego as the game headed into halftime.

The physicality ramped up another notch in the second half, with Lakeridge desperate to earn a draw and Lake Oswego determined to hold onto victory. After a nice attack by Lakeridge senior Johnny Rodas-Hills nine minutes into the half, a hard challenge by Lakers junior Chase Hoffinger earned Hoffinger a yellow card, the first of three on the night for the Lakers.

The Pacers responded, putting together a handful of attacks that produced solid chances. After a nice sequence midway through the half that saw a cross gobbled up by the Lake Oswego keeper, the Pacers quickly regained possession and pushed downfield. Pacers junior Gian Gargurevich blasted a shot from well outside the Lake Oswego penalty box that the Lakers could not control, and when the rebound came right to Pinkerton, he easily converted the ensuing shot to even the match at 2-2.

From there, neither side was willing to concede anything, with several hard fouls called during the last 20 minutes and Lakers Sidharth Daga and Ryan Vogel both given yellow cards for their conduct.

Neither team was complaining afterwards, however, preferring to focus on what they need to do to improve.

"A tie at home isn't that bad," noted Cumberland. "When the intensity's there, the game's fun."

For Lakeridge, that means slowing things down a bit.

"We just need to continue to work on possessing the ball and playing calm," said Pinkerton. "We'll be fine."

Meanwhile, Lake Oswego will look to build momentum for the rest of its Three Rivers League schedule.

"We're ready to get back rolling," said Cumberland. "This is our rebirth."

In upcoming games, the Lakers play at Sherwood at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and host Canby at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12. The Pacers play at Tigard at 7 p.m. Tuesday, then host West Linn at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12.

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