The biggest games.
The best players.
The highest stakes.
That's right, it's Laker time.
The Lake Oswego girls lacrosse team proved as much on Monday, May 20, rolling past Hood River 20-8 in the Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association state semifinals at Lake Oswego High School.
"We worked really well as a team and our transitions were on point today," said Lake Oswego senior defender McKinley Mullen, who scored once and also had one ground ball. "(Our transitions) were really pretty in the midfield and our attack figured out how to settle the ball down and work it around to get it into the goal."
"It's thanks to our coaches (Lauren Anderson and Kendall Guthrie)," said Lake Oswego junior midfielder Katie Freeman, who led her team with six goals against Hood River. "It was just such a good game. They adjust nonstop — it's a good dynamic."
With their Monday win, the Lakers' eighth straight, Three Rivers League champion Lake Oswego improved to 18-3 overall. Hood River, the second-place team from the Portland League, ended its year at 11-9.
In the process, the Lakers — the three-time defending state champions — earned their fifth straight championship-game berth; Lake Oswego will face Jesuit (a 12-10 semifinal winner over Lincoln on Monday) in the title contest at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Lake Oswego High School.
Needless to say, the Lakers are very much looking forward to their championship-game battle against Jesuit. The Crusaders enter the finale as Metro League champions and carrying a 15-5 overall record. Lake Oswego beat Jesuit 14-10 in their non-league meeting at Lake Oswego High School back on April 9.
Freeman said she knows what it will take to win on Thursday.
"I think the most important thing to me is getting hyped pregame, making sure that everyone gets dancing, everyone gets hyped," she said. "I think that's the most important part."
For her part, Mullen was more focused on process.
"For me, this is the fourth time (in the championship) so I'm very excited for the next game and just hoping to come out with the win," Mullen said. "I think getting hyped is really important, but also just focusing on the game and what's ahead of us, just doing the simple things so we can get it done."
In Monday's win over Hood River, the Lakers were dominant in almost every aspect of the game. They outshot the Eagles 36-18, they had more shots on goal (30-13), they won the draw controls (17-13), they picked up more ground balls (19-16), they caused more turnovers (7-3) and they had more assists (5-2).
While Hood River played hard throughout the game — the Eagles got three goals from Kathryn Koenig and two by Josie Peterson — the Lakers were in no mood to let this one get away. When the Eagles closed within 15-8 on back-to-back scores from Emma Kroll and Koenig with 9 minutes, 7 seconds left to play, Lake Oswego dropped the hammer.
The Lakers closed the game with five unanswered goals in the game's final 8:52 to put their win on ice, getting scores from Katy Gilbert, Taylor Hamper, Gabby Crist and two by Freeman for the final 20-8 margin.
For the game, Freeman had six goals for LO, and Gilbert, Rylee Sutherland and Zoe Ziegler added three each in the win. Gilbert added two assists, two ground balls, one caused turnover and three draw controls won. Ivey Peyton added one goal, four ground balls, one caused turnovers and three draw controls won.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.