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Trio to lead Lady Trojans

Shaeffer, Bakarich, Wilson give Oak Ridge strong group to build around
By: Matt Long
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A young Oak Ridge varsity girls’ lacrosse team still has hopes of competing for a conference championship. The Lady Trojans, featuring only four seniors and five juniors to go along with 11 sophomores and a freshman, have the talent to compete in the Sac-Joaquin Valley Lacrosse Conference with the likes of Granite Bay, Christian Brothers, Bella Vista and St. Francis, according to coach Ed Holton. The team is led by three key returning players, including Liz Shaeffer in goal, Morgan Bakarich up top and Emmeline Wilson on defense. Shaeffer, a junior, is coming off a strong sophomore season where she won 11 games and saved 60 percent of shots against her, allowing eight goals per game. She is already one of the top goalies around, according to Holton, and has Wilson playing in front of her, who’s steady play no doubt makes Shaeffer’s job a bit easier. “Liz is one of the top goalies in California,” Holton said. “Even in our 15-5 loss to California on Wednesday, she made 22 saves and kept it respectable. She’s already playing better than she ever has and is a solid college prospect. “Emmeline is our most experienced defender and leads the defense. She brings senior experience to our young defenders.” Offensively, Bakarich, a sophomore, will no doubt lead the team. She led the team with 64 goals as a freshman a year ago. “Once again we expect Morgan to be our most prolific scorer,” Holton said. “She ranked in the top-five goal scorers in the state last year.” Last year Oak Ridge finished the season with an 11-10 record and just missed out on winning the conference championship. The Lady Trojans suffered one-goal losses to Bella Vista and St. Francis and a two-goal loss to Granite Bay. If the team had won anyone of those games, they would have won the conference, according to Holton. “We played a very difficult schedule last year and we were competitive against everyone but Monte Vista, which was the top team in the state,” Holton said. “We’re very young this year and it will take awhile and be a challenge for us to learn the varsity game. I still feel we have a strong shot at the conference title, though. I’d call us a solid contender.”