Lake Oswego girls step up again, beat West Linn 17-10
The Lake Oswego girls lacrosse team knows it.
The Lakers — the two-time reigning state champions — know they're going to get everyone's best shot and that's exactly what talented West Linn gave them on Friday night.
The Lions rallied from an early deficit and scored seven straight goals against Lake Oswego to take a four-goal lead into halftime.
But the Lakers didn't panic. They settled themselves, they slowed things down and they came back with a vengeance in the second half, outscoring the Lions big time to win 17-10 at Lake Oswego High School.
"In the beginning, we always get super rushed and we played to their speed," said junior attack Rylee Sutherland, who scored five goals on Friday. "In the second half, what coach Lauren (Anderson) said to us really just brought us together and we worked as a team and did what we do best."
"The first half, we were really not as intense as we can come out, as we can compete, obviously," said senior midfielder Carlie Leach, who added three second-half goals in Friday's win. "It wasn't anything about their strategy, it was all about us being in our own heads and not being focused enough, not ready enough, not coming out as hard as we could and you saw that change in the second half."
With the win — the Lakers' 10th straight — Lake Oswego improved to 10-0 in the Three Rivers League and 15-1 overall. West Linn, meanwhile, lost to the Lakers for a second time this season and fell to 8-2 in TRL play (the Lions are currently second in the TRL and hold a two-game lead over both Lakeridge and Wilsonville) and 11-3 overall.
"Unfortunately, we didn't get the outcome we wanted," said junior attack Ragen Finklea, who scored two goals against the Lakers. "The second half, I think we just got a little bit outworked. We tried to come out strong like we did the first half, but they were super intense and pressured us a lot."
"We just tried to play how we played that got us the first-half lead," said junior attack Anna Klose, who led her team with five goals, all in the first half. "We've just got to string a full 50-minute game together and we'll beat anyone."
While the Lions held the upper hand in the first half, the Lakers actually grabbed the early lead, scoring four straight goals in the game's first 8 minutes, 25 seconds to lead 4-1. Klose connected for the night's first goal, but the Lakers came back with two scores from Taylor Anders and one each from Katie Gilbert and Sutherland.
West Linn took over in the next 10 minutes, however, shutting out the Lakers while scoring seven unanswered goals in that span. Claire Matthiessen kicked off that stretch when she scored almost immediately after the Lions won the draw control.
Klose stepped up next, scoring back-to-back goals (the second assisted by Finklea) to tie the game at 4-4. Finklea made it four straight when she took a pass from McKenna Kelly and scored on the run going right to left in front of the Laker goal, and Kelly duplicated that effort 35 seconds later on an assist by Carey Stell.
Klose then connected back-to-back for a second time, first with 7:04 left in the half and again 32 seconds later for an 8-4 lead. Sutherland and Kelly traded scores in the final 2:12 of the half and West Linn's lead was 9-5 at the break.
After getting manhandled in their first game at West Linn on April 24, the Lions were encouraged by their first-half performance.
"I think we worked a lot harder this time," Finklea said. "We were more aggressive this time around because we wanted to get revenge."
"We had the same game plan — just play our game, be intense, go out and take it to them," Klose added.
But the Lakers weren't going to let this one slip away, not on their home field and not with their TRL championship hopes hanging in the balance. They settled themselves at the half, turned around their fortunes on the draw control and began to play their way back into contention.
And they did all that quickly, too, getting their first goal of the second half — by Katie Freeman — just 16 seconds into the period and kicking off a stretch of seven straight scores. Freeman made it two straight on an overhand shot and Madelyn Manske took a pass from Sutherland cut the Laker deficit to 9-8 with 20:47 left in the game.
Leach took over in the next five minutes, scoring three times in short order, the first off an assist by Katy Gilbert, the next following a West Linn penalty and the third — after an Anders score assisted by Sutherland — on a break following yet another draw control win to make it 12-9 with 15:30 left to play.
Finklea brought the Lions back within 12-10 when she made a steal in the Lakers' end of the field and converted with 13:43 remaining, but that was the end of the offensive highlights for West Linn.
The Lakers closed out the contest with three more Sutherland scores and another from Anders for the final 17-10 margin.
"We got some good words from Lauren at halftime and then we (came back)," Sutherland said. "I loved it. … We wanted this. We wanted this for our seniors. We wanted this for league."
"I think the key was obviously the draws. They were really on top of the draw the first half, so obtaining the draw and being really confident on our shots was big," Leach said. "It's been an incredible ride. We can't wait to go into the playoffs and play some awesome lacrosse."
The Lions, meanwhile, saw reasons for optimism in the loss.
"I think we just have a few things we need to clean up," Finklea said. "The next time we play them, I think it will be a really good game."
"If we just keep our transitions clean and move the ball on offense, we can do anything," Klose added.