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The Pacers fall Tuesday after beating North Medford 5-0 in their playoff opener

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lakeridge's Tess French (shown here against North Medford) and the Pacers saw their season end in a 2-1 loss at Tualatin in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Tuesday, Nov. 5.The challenge had never been bigger for the Lakeridge girls soccer team.

The Pacers, facing Tualatin in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Tuesday, Nov. 5, saw their playoff lives on the line while facing a higher-ranked opponent on its home field.

So Lakeridge did what it had done all year — the Pacers went out and gave it their all.

In the end, Tualatin edged away to win 2-1 at Tualatin High School, but the loss did nothing to take away from the Pacers' stellar season.

"We played really well," said Lakeridge coach Karl Granlund. "I'm incredibly proud of our determination and character to come back to play Tualatin on their field and take them to the end."

With the loss, 10th-ranked Lakeridge ended its season with a 10-3-3 overall record (two of those losses coming to the Timberwolves) after finishing third in the Three Rivers League. Seventh-ranked TRL champion Tualatin, meanwhile, won for the sixth time, extended its unbeaten streak to 15 games and improved to 14-1-1. The Timberwolves will play at second-ranked South Eugene (15-0-1 after winning the Southwest Conference) in the state quarterfinals at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.

Against Tualatin, the Pacers held their own throughout the first half and worked hard to contain Tualatin junior Cally Togiai — the 2017 TRL Player of the Year. But Togiai got away down the left side and scored from about 15 yards out midway through the half to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead at the half.

The Pacers answered to tie the game at 1-1 with 26 minutes, 43 seconds remaining on a ball played down the right side by Molly Bachman. Tess French shot the ball just inside the 18-yard box and the Tualatin keeper blocked the shot but wasn't able to collect it. The ball then came out to Emma Krauss who put it in the net from about 20 yards on the right side.

Granlund said the Pacers had the momentum after that and consistently threatened the Wolves' goal in the second half, but it was Tualatin that got the game-winner by Taylor Morgan with 11:29 left in the match.

Lakeridge continued to pressure in the remaining minutes, getting a free kick from Krauss just outside the Tualatin penalty box with two minutes to play that was saved by the keeper.

"We played 100 times better than we did in the league loss," Granlund said.

He complimented the efforts of midfielders Emily Bachman, Bella Yannello and Payton Moffenbeier, and that of his back line, led by Keely Lipp and Molly Bachman. Forward Megan McCormack had four shots on goal.

The loss marked the final Lakeridge game for seniors Nicole Rogers, Sydney Okoneski, Rachel Mindt, McCormack and Jolie Lathrop.

Lakeridge 5, North Medford 0

Lakeridge 5, North Medford 0: Lakeridge left nothing to chance in its 2019 state playoff opener.

The Pacers opened the second season with a rock-solid 5-0 win over No. 23 North Medford at Lakeridge High School on Saturday, Nov. 1.

The Black Tornado ended its season at 7-7-1 overall after finishing fourth in the Southwest Conference.

"I think we had a lot of energy and we wanted it more than them and I think we really just bought our 'A' game for the playoffs," said McCormack, who scored her team's first goal.

"We wanted to leave everything out on the field, especially for our seniors because they know that every game could be their last so we just wanted to put it all out there," added Moffenbeier, who assisted on one of her team's goals.

Lakeridge started fast against North Medford, taking a 1-0 lead about 10 minutes into the contest when French pushed up the sideline through the Black Tornado defense, then played a through ball to McCormack for the goal.

The Pacers then closed the first half with a flourish, beginning when Moffenbeier sent a free kick into the North Medford 6-yard box and Emily Bachman knocked it home at the far post with 7:08 remaining in the half.

And with just 28 seconds left before the break, Moffenbeier hit a corner kick into the Tornado penalty box, and from there, Lathrop collected a rebound and scored to make it 3-0 at the half.

The Pacers then tacked on two more scores in the final 40 minutes, getting a goal on a follow-up shot by Mayah Greenfield with 16:51 to play, and a free kick goal from the right side by Okoneski with 10:50 remaining.

"We were just relentless in front of the goal, taking our shots and testing their keeper which was one of our goals for the season," Moffenbeier said.

"Every game, we say we want to get the first goal," McCormack said. "So we just go out like we did today and attack for the first 10 minutes and be the dominating team."

Contact Sports Editor Miles Vance at 503-330-0127 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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