Lake Oswego boys lacrosse aims for better things in 2018
The Lake Oswego boy's lacrosse team was unquestionably good in 2017.
The Lakers went 8-2 in the rugged Three Rivers League and finished second in the regular season behind only unbeaten West Linn.
But 2017 also ended unbelievably early for LO, with the fifth-ranked Lakers falling to No. 12 Central Catholic in their first playoff round.
Considering its chances in 2018, Lake Oswego is aiming for another big regular season and a much longer playoff run.
"LO is a young team that is finding its identity," said Lake Oswego coach Rick Gruen. "Our non-conference schedule is among toughest in the league (and) early close games against … OES, Jesuit and Lincoln shows promise that LO can be a legitimate playoff contender as confidence increases and the team finds ways to close out a tight game."
This year's Lake Oswego team features seven returning all-TRL players, that group led by sophomore attack Jonas Hunter (a first-team all-TRL pick a year ago and an honorable mention all-state pick), junior defender Keenan DeRaeve (a first-team all-TRL pick a year ago and an honorable mention all-state pick), senior midfielder and captain Michael Shakerin (an honorable mention all-TRL pick), and senior midfielder and captain Cal Motylewski.
Shakerin "can play any position. Hard worker, grit and effort," Gruen said, adding that Motylewski could be counted on to "be a spark and ignite runs on transition breaks."
Regarding DeRaeve and Hunter, Gruen said DeRaeve was a "lock-down defender, football tough (and a) fierce competitor," while Hunter is an "offensive leader, grinder and multi-faceted attackman that can frustrate defenders from a dodge, feed or off-ball finish."
The rest of the team's returning all-league players include junior attack Dylan Baker (a second-team all-TRL pick), sophomore midfielder Marshall McGuire (another second-teamer), senior defender and captain Peter Krenek (another second-teamer), sophomore defender Connor Willihnganz (an honorable mention pick who is working his way back from an injury) and junior goalie George O`Brien (another honorable mention pick).
O'Brien is a "defensive leader at goalie that inspires his teammates with heart, hustle and effort," Gruen said, adding that McGuire "makes his presence known on the field, whether as a go-to guy on offense or defending the alley on defense."
The varsity rotation will also include senior long stick middle Collin Hennessy, senior midfielder Alex Marsh, sophomore attack Dominick Sinclair, senior midfielder Jake Bazant, junior defensive middle Ryan Anderson and sophomore defender Henry Sorenson (who's coming back from an injury).
Also due for varsity time are sophomore attack Jonas Hunter, senior midfielder Alex Marsh, sophomore defender Jack Schrimsher, senior midfielder Matt Phillips, freshman midfielder Connor Cady, senior midfielder Connor O'Brien, senior goalie Marcus Able, sophomore midfielder Alex Phillips, sophomore midfielder Charlie Ryan, sophomore long stick middle Ritchie Enkhbat, sophomore midfielder Noah Scharfstein, senior long stick middle Colin Hennessey and senior defender Jake Lidster.
"The Three Rivers League title should be up for grabs between West Linn, Lakeridge and LO," Gruen said. "The TRL title will go to the team that is healthy and peaking at the right time."