A 6-0 run to start the game propels the Lions who face Lake Oswego again this Friday

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - West Linn's Annie Longtain tosses in one of her three first-half goals in the Lions' 11-6 victory over Oregon City which propelled the team into a tie for first place in the league. The West Linn girls lacrosse team got past a big obstacle on the road on Monday, riding a blistering start to an 11-6 win over upstart Oregon City.

While the Pioneers have been synonymous with lacrosse prowess in recent years, they were generally expected to take a back seat to the powers of Lake Oswego and West Linn this year.

But Oregon City showed it had different plans in mind when it upset the top-ranked Lakers recently, making the Three Rivers League all that more entertaining this year.

The Pioneers gave West Linn a battle too at least for the final three quarters of the game. However, the Lions won the contest in the first 12 minutes, jumping out to a 6-0.

West Linn was utterly dominant to open the game, catching Oregon City flat-footed before it could right the ship to some extent.

The Pioneers cut the lead to four goals on three different occasions in the second half but could never climb any closer as the Lions moved into what is currently a three-way tie for first place in the league.

Oregon City barely saw the ball in the first 10 minutes. West Linn was terrific on draws and created multiple turnovers as the Pioneers tried to get the ball up to its attack.

The Lions got two goals each from Annie Longtain and Carli Wilson in the first seven minutes to make it 4-0. West Linn was extremely efficient on offense, hitting cutters close to the net for open looks or drawing penalties.

A goal from Kayla Bouchard on an assist from Mariah Gatti made it 5-0 before Oregon City finally was able to get into its offense for a sustained amount of time.

However, goalie Tara Sonnemaker made a pair of impressive saves to keep Oregon City at bay.

When Longtain capped her hat trick after an assist from Hanna Morford, it made it 6-0 midway through the first half.

Oregon City did enough to keep itself in the game, finally answering with back-to-back goals and then scoring in the final minute of the half after a terrific defensive stand by the Lions to make it 8-3 at the break.

The Pioneers scored five minute into the second half to cut into the lead further and threatened to drastically shift the momentum of the game with another goal or two.

Meanwhile, West Linn's offense which had seem nearly unstoppable in the first half, became bogged down with some careless turnovers.

Oregon City had plenty of opportunities to cut the deficit but West Linn's defense stepped up and refused to give up anything easy.

West Linn held the Pioneers scoreless for a 10-minute stretch in the second half and Bouchard scored her third goal of the game to extend the lead again.

Oregon City would answer two minutes later and West Linn continued to struggle to chew up time on offense.

With 2:09 to play in the game, Jazmine Agcaoili scored following a penalty to finally put the game away.

Megan Longtain led West Linn with four ground balls and Natalie Byrne had three.

West Linn will play Lake Oswego at home in a rematch this Friday in a game that could determine the league champion.

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