Tigard boys soccer rallies past Lakeridge 5-4
It's not easy being king.
The Pacers learned that lesson the hard way again on Tuesday when Tigard rallied from two goals down in the final 25 minutes to beat Lakeridge 5-4 at Tigard High School.
"I think the difference was we were just giving up some fouls we shouldn't have and not staying organized on the set pieces," said senior forward Collin Pinkerton, who scored all four Lakeridge goals on Tuesday. "That was the difference."
"We went up 4-2 and we got cocky and thought we would win the game and win it easily," added senior midfielder/defender Myles Willis. "We just lost sight of the game and thought we would win."
With the win, 14th-ranked Tigard saw its Three Rivers League record improve to 2-1-1 — good for a second-place tie with Lake Oswego — and 5-2-3 overall. No. 10 Lakeridge, meanwhile, fell to 1-1-2 and fourth place in the TRL, and 5-3-3 overall.
The Pacers started fast on Tuesday, scoring just 3:29 into the contest when Willis sent a corner kick into the Tigard penalty box from the left side and Pinkerton headed it home at the far post for a 1-0 lead.
But the Tigers — as they would all night — answered quickly. With 27:06 remaining in the first half, Tigard senior midfielder Miguel Vergara stole a soft Lakeridge pass intended for Lakeridge goalkeeper Xander Abbott, took two touches and chipped the ball into the goal for a 1-1 tie.
The Pacers pushed ahead just 1:50 later, with junior Adam Kindorf pushing the ball upfield to the left baseline, then crossing it to Pinkerton for the finish and 2-1 lead at the far post.
Tigard responded again, this time knotting the score at 2-2 with 23:30 left in the half when Vergara drove home a free kick from the top of the penalty box after a Pacer foul.
Undeterred, Lakeridge just kept scoring, pushing back in front 3-2 when senior Johnny Rodas-Hills sent a long pass through the Tigard defense to Pinkerton, who scored at the right post to make it 3-2 with 18:18 remaining in the half, a score that held up until halftime.
The Pacers kept the heat on in the final period, too, with Rodas-Hills making a long run up the left seam, then dumping the ball off to Pinkerton at the left post for the score and a 4-2 lead with 37:18 remaining in the contest.
The Tigers didn't fold, though. Instead, they got physical — they picked up four yellow cards in the win — got after it and got themselves back in the game. Vergara got his team back within 4-3 with 24:22 left on the clock when he sent a free kick into the Lakeridge penalty box and Cesar Ochoa-Navarro headed it home from point-blank range on the right side.
Then, just 2:50 later, Tigard got even at 4-4 when Vergara took the ball up the middle of the field, passed to Trevor Smith in the left side of the Pacers' penalty box and Smith sent it around two Lakeridge defenders to Aaron Padarath for the score past keeper Jayden Bonwell at the right post.
The Tigers then got the game-winner with 16:29 left on the clock when Vergara's long free kick from the right side slipped past two Lakeridge defenders to Padarath who scored at the right post for the final 5-4 margin.
The Pacers tried to rally in the remaining minutes, with another Pinkerton goal negated by an offsides call with five minutes to go, and another apparent score waived off because of a foul with 2:22 to go.
As disappointed as they were with the loss, the Pacers vowed to learn from the experience and come back stronger.
"Every time we come out here, the other team comes out in the first 10 minutes and is coming for our necks," Pinkerton said. "I think if we just stay focused, get a few good games in and start clicking by the end of the season, the playoffs will go well."
"I just think if we can learn from our mistakes in this game … tighten up against the set pieces and fix the other things in our next game, I think we can be one of the best teams in the state," Willis added.
In upcoming games, Lakeridge hosts West Linn at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and plays at Newberg at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tigard plays at Tualatin at 7 p.m. Thursday and at Canby at 7 p.m. Tuesday.