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The Lakers win for the ninth straight time despite a mid-game challenge by the Pacers.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lake Oswego freshman Lilah Turley (left) tries to secure a loose ball while challenged by Lakeridge junior Kendall Coyne during Lake Oswego's 17-8 win at Lake Oswego High School on Friday, April 29.The first ingredient you need to have the semi-annual Battle of the Lake is — can you guess? — a lake.

So mother nature did its best to provide one in the second half of the Lake Oswego girls lacrosse team's Friday, April 29, home game against crosstown rival. In the end, the rain rained and the Lakers reigned, fighting off a mid-game challenge by the Pacers to win 17-8 at Lake Oswego High School.

"The Battle of the Lake is such an important game for us," said Lake Oswego senior forward Kate Anders, who led all scorers with five goals, along with four assists, three ground balls and one caused turnover. "It really makes us be competitive with each other. We know these girls. We grew up with them. We've played years of lacrosse with them so it's fun to have a lot of competition and it's fun to get after it during the game."

"It was really fun. I love playing with my team," said LO freshman forward Barrett Doan, who converted all three of her shots in the game and added one ground ball. "We just really worked together (down the stretch). When we pass really well, it just shows."

With the win, the team's ninth straight, Lake Oswego improved to 8-0 in Three Rivers League play and 9-1 overall. Lakeridge, meanwhile, lost its second straight game and fell to 3-3 in TRL play and 5-5 overall.

"I think we learned we just need to keep working together and pick up the speed and keep the momentum up," said Lakeridge senior midfielder Eliza Diforio, who teamed with junior Kendall Coyne to give the Pacers the upper hand in draw controls. "We need to keep our spirits high and our communication good and we can beat whoever we want."

"We really like to read the team in the first half, but sometimes we lack the energy," said junior midfielder Kendall Coyne, who hit all three of her shots, won six draw controls and added two ground balls. "But I think in the second half, we really built up our possession and got a lot more draw controls. With that, we kind of took care of it more on offense and tightened up on defense."

The Lakers started Friday's game at a dead sprint, winning four of the first five draw controls and scoring seven unanswered goals in the first 14 minutes, 25 seconds of the contest to knock the Pacers back on their heels. Anders scored three times in that stretch (one of those goals assisted by senior Edie Prager) and assisted on two others, while freshman Lilah Turley connected twice and Prager and Doan hit once each.

Lakeridge, however, didn't fold. The Pacers came back with their best stretch of the game at the end of the first half and start of the second, beginning by putting together a 4-2 scoring edge over the final 9:16 of the opening half.

Freshman Avery French got her team on the scoreboard when she cut toward the goal, took a pass from sophomore Chase Spiekerman and scored on an overhand shot to make it 7-1. Coyne followed with a goal assisted by senior Alyson Buchholz just 34 seconds later to make it 7-2.

Lake Oswego answered with back-to-back goals by senior Rylee Winn and Doan off free position shots, but Lakeridge closed the half on scores from Coyne (on a cut assisted by Spiekerman) and junior Daragh O'Hare, with O'Hare's goal cutting the Laker lead to 9-4 with just 31 seconds left in the half.

The Pacers then edged within 9-5 by scoring the only goal in the first six minutes of the second half, that score coming from Coyne on a sidearm shot with 21:15 left in the game.

But Lake Oswego closed the game on an 8-3 run to leave Lakeridge behind, getting two goals each from Prager and Anders, and additional scores by sophomore Reilly Mullen, freshman Parker Lemm, Turley and Doan.

"I think that we started playing a little bit harder on defense," Anders said, explaining her team's second-half success. "We were talking a lot more, it was a lot louder down there, and on offense, we just started slowing the ball down a little bit looking for those right passes. … We were really working for that perfect shot."

Lakeridge added late goals from Spiekerman and Buchholz, but on this day, it was too little and too late.

After the game, Coyne said her team was still learning and improving.

"We've kind of always been a second-half team and I think our energy picked up in the second half," she said. "I think we really picked that up and we were able to see (what they were) doing … and we really got to switching on those picks."

For the game, LO's Prager added three goals, one assist and one ground ball, Mullen had one goal and two assists, Winn won eight draw controls and Turley won five draw controls. For Lakeridge, O'Hare had two goals and one ground ball, and Spiekerman had one goal and two assists.

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