Lakeridge boys polo races past Beaverton 20-6
The Lakeridge boys water polo team is on a mission.
The Pacers, after finishing second at state in each of the past two seasons, are determined to make 2019 even bigger and better, and they proved it to Beaverton in a big way last week.
The Pacers raced out to a five-goal lead in the first quarter, extended their edge to eight at the half and rolled home to win 20-6 at Lake Oswego School District Pool on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
"We just wanted to come in and play our game," said Lakeridge senior Brody Veater, who scored two goals and assisted on five others against Beaverton. "There's no difference in the games we play. (We) just keep it serious, do the best we can."
"I think this was a great game," added Lakeridge junior Torin Ferguson, who led his team with five goals against the Beavers. "We had a little bit of a tug of war with them at the beginning, but that's one of the things we need to work on, coming out strong right off the bat."
With the win, the Pacers improved to 11-0 for the season — including two wins over Beaverton — while the Beavers fell to 7-5 overall.
Lakeridge opened the game at high speed, getting its first goal just 55 seconds into the game, then adding five more before the end of the first quarter to grab a 6-1 lead. Ferguson scored four of his five goals in the first period, three of those assisted by Veater and the other by Anthony Wang.
Wang and Thomas Gooding scored the Pacers' other two goals in the first period.
The Pacers kept the heat on in the second quarter, too, adding goals from Gooding, Veater, Yeldar Daniyarbekov and Wang to extend their margin to 10-2 at halftime.
Lakeridge then doused any hopes of a Beaverton comeback with a 5-3 scoring edge in the third period, and finally, a 5-1 advantage in the fourth.
Daniyarbekov led the way with three of his four scores coming in the final two quarters, while Sean Davitt scored twice and the Pacers' other scores came from John Allison, Gooding, Veater, Wang and Ferguson.
"We really have a bond that we didn't have last year and we buckle down on our defense," Ferguson said. "I think that's one of the most important parts."
While the Pacers won easily, Veater said they were determined not to take Beaverton lightly.
"Beaverton is a really good team and they're supposed to be a pretty good contender for state this year so they're still on our watch list," he said.
Despite the relative ease of their victory, the Pacers know they still have a lot of work ahead of them if they hope to compete with — and beat — the state's best teams.
"We need to swim a whole lot more," Ferguson said. "We were dying by the end of the fourth quarter, but it's good to know that now at the beginning of the season so that's just something to work on."
"Swimming," Veater agreed. "We have all of our plays, we have great team chemistry — it's just swimming. Endurance is what we need to work on the most."
In upcoming games, the Pacers host Newberg at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, and play at Tigard at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7.
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