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Goalie change fails to slow Hawks streak

By BEN MCCARTY

News staff writer

September 27, 2006

Mark Lago’s deal did not work out to badly after all. The Horizon soccer coach made an agreement with starting goalkeeper Cameron Root that if the team won last week’s game against Open Door he would let Root play in the field. Horizon won, and Lago was left with the quandary of starting untested goalkeeper Mark Denzinger behind a still developing defense. However, Root put Lago’s mind at ease when he scored two goals playing as a forward to help lead the Hawks to a 4-2 win over Columbia Christian.

Denzinger didn’t do to badly for himself either, picking up nine saves, and surrendering one of the two goals on a penalty kick in the final minute of the match.

The 4-1 lead that Horizon built in the second half allowed Root to get in some substitution, both to get his bench players some playing and to rest his starters.

“It was really good to be able to get some subs in,” Lago said.

The Hawks got on the board midway through the first half when Josh Boyden cleaned up a rebound with a diving shot into the goal. Root scored his first goal in the 36th minute.

“He did like a pro,” Lago said of Root’s score. “He took it off his chest and put it off the far post.”

Columbia Christian scored just before halftime to cut the lead to 2-1. Lago said that he would like to play Root in the field more often, but likes having him in goal to anchor his young defense. Root made the decision a little more difficult with his second goal of the match in the 36th minute, when he crossed up the Columbia Christian goalkeeper and fired a shot just beyond his reach.

Michael Jensen came off the bench and finished the scoring for the Hawks when he pounded a shot into the net from just beyond the goal box in the 74th minute.

By the time Columbia Christian got on the board again, scoring on a penalty kick after a handball was called inside the Horizon goal box, the game was already out of reach.

Horizon now heads out on the road with an undefeated record for four straight road games, the first of which will come Thursday night against North Clackamas Christian.

“It’ll be a dogfight on Thursday,” Lago said. Lago was impressed with Denzinger’s play in goal and was glad to see the team’s defense continue to improve.

“If we tighten up our defense a little bit, we’ll be able to gang in there with the best of them,” Lago said.

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