Not like this.
The Lake Oswego girls lacrosse team's 2019 season was not supposed to end like this.
The Lakers, after winning Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association state championships in 2016-18, were fighting with everything they had to win a fourth straight title on Thursday, May 23, at Lake Oswego High School.
Lake Oswego rallied from four goals down in the final 8 minutes, 37 seconds of the second half, cut Jesuit's lead to a single score with 1:16 to play, then forced a turnover with 16 seconds remaining on the clock.
From there, the Lakers sped downfield, with Laker senior Katy Gilbert eventually passing to junior teammate Rylee Sutherland on the left wing. Sutherland took Gilbert's pass, raced toward the Jesuit goal and scored to tie the game as regulation time expired.
Or so the Lakers thought.
Game officials huddled together to confer about Sutherland's shot, and two minutes later, waived it off, ruling that the goal had come after the game clock expired, giving Jesuit the 13-12 victory and its first-ever state championship.
"This was a really special group," said Gilbert, a midfielder who scored twice in the loss and was previously named Three Rivers League Player of the Year. "I'm really glad I got to experience my senior year with this group of people. It just sucks it ended this way because we did everything we could to try to win this game."
"I think we're a great team and we've been playing the whole year and it's a bummer outcome, but we're a family and it was all worth it," added Lake Oswego junior midfielder Zoe Ziegler, who scored twice and won 10 draw controls during the game.
"As sad as the loss is, I'm proud of us because we didn't lose our composure," added Sutherland, who led her team with four goals. "We put so much work into it. It's pretty sad to see the outcome, but I'm glad we kept our heads up the whole time."
With the loss, the Three Rivers League champion Lakers saw their eight-game winning streak snapped and ended their season with an 18-4 record. Metro League champion Jesuit, meanwhile, won for the seventh straight time and ended its season at 16-5.
Given that they played a man down for long stretches of the game — Lake Oswego was whistled for five yellow cards in the contest — the Lakers were proud of their efforts and less than thrilled with the officiating. Jesuit received one yellow card in the game.
"I think getting those five yellow cards and being a man down the rest of the game really set us back," Gilbert said. "We definitely weren't expecting this kind of game, for it to be called this way."
"We played man down, like, more than half the game and that just proves how much we wanted it," Sutherland said. "(The officiating) was crazy."
That said, the game itself was a thrilling, hard-fought affair that was filled with huge momentum swings.
Jesuit started fast behind two early scores from Ella Smith, but the Lakers rallied ahead with a dynamite stretch over the next 2:37, scoring four times to push ahead 4-2 on a pair of goals each by Gilbert and junior attack Katie Freeman.
But the Crusaders responded in-kind, closing the half on a 5-1 run over the final 9:34 of the period to take a 7-5 lead at the break. Smith scored twice more in that stretch, while Jesuit's other goals came from Elizabeth Daigle, Grace Lee and Kiana Santiago.
Over the course of the first half, five of Jesuit's seven scores came on free position scores after penalties. Lake Oswego's final first-half goal came from Ziegler with 7:56 remaining before the break.
Things got worse for Lake Oswego before they got better, too. Jesuit opened the second half with back-to-back goals from Isabella Sobol and Lee to extend its lead to 9-5, with Sobol scoring on a rebound after Laker freshman goalie Greta Brown blocked Sydney Landauer's free position shot and Lee connecting with 17:58 to play.
The Lakers edged back within 10-8 on scores by Sutherland, Gilbert and Ziegler over the next 4:28, Sutherland bouncing a free position shot past Jesuit goalie Nina Mahler, Gilbert scoring on a cut assisted by Sutherland and Ziegler angling home a shot from the right side with 11:57 to go.
But Jesuit responded with back-to-back Lee goals separated by just 37 seconds, the first on a free position attempt and the second on a point-blank shot set up by a Daigle that gave the Crusaders a commanding 12-8 lead with 10:13 left in the game.
The Lakers did not fold, however. Gilbert scored on a free position shot with 8:36 to play, and after senior Taylor Anders made a steal, Sutherland connected on a free position attempt with 7:25 remaining.
Jesuit answered with its final score when Sobol hit Lee on a cut to the Laker goal with 5:41 to play, but Lake Oswego just kept coming.
Ziegler won the ensuing draw control, raced downfield, got fouled and scored on a free position shot that made it 13-11 with 5:13 remaining. Next, Laker senior McKinley Mullen made a long run up the right seam, then passed to junior Peyton Ivey for a score in the lower right corner of the Crusader goal that cut the lead to 13-12 with 1:16 left on the clock.
Jesuit was awarded the ensuing draw control on a Laker foul, but Lake Oswego junior Taylor Jones scooped up a ground ball deep in the Laker end of the field with 16 seconds to go. From there, Jones ran the ball out of the Jesuit end of the field and passed it to Freeman near the left sideline.
Freeman ran another 10 yards upfield, then made a long diagonal pass to Ivey in the middle of the field 38 yards away from the Jesuit goal. Ivey made a leaping stab at the pass while pressured by a Jesuit defender, but couldn't catch it cleanly and the ball bounced free in the middle of the field.
Gilbert scooped it up at a dead run, spun away from a defender, took it another 10 yards ahead, then passed to Sutherland on the left wing 12 yards away from the Jesuit goal. Sutherland angled her way toward the Crusader net at a full sprint and beat Mahler to the top right corner of the goal as time expired.
Sutherland's follow through and momentum carried her past the left side of the Jesuit goal, where she fell, skidded to the turf, lost her stick and was almost immediately mobbed by teammates who assumed the game was headed to overtime.
Instead, however, game officials huddled together to confer about Sutherland's shot, and two minutes later, waived it off, ruling that the goal had come after the game clock expired, giving Jesuit the 13-12 victory and its first-ever state championship.
Regarding the controversial call at the end of the game — the live stream of the contest showed two seconds remaining on the clock when Sutherland scored — the OGLA posted the following statement on its website:
"The final call of the game was the determination that the clock expired prior to the Lake Oswego player releasing the shot. The scoreboard horn indicating the end of game could not be heard over the sound of the crowd. For the live feed of last night's contest, Oregon SportsBeat used an approximate clock at the bottom of the feed, this was not the official time. A quote from Ryan Johnson at Oregon SportsBeat, 'The clock used on the Oregon SportsBeat live stream is not synced with the official clock held in the box at Lake Oswego. Our clock is manually operated by our director...and is almost always 1 or 2 seconds ahead or behind the field clock, which he is glancing at during the game.
"Game clock was kept on the scoreboard by a highly experienced and impartial volunteer and was supported by the umpires and table staff."
For their part, the Lakers chose to focus on their effort, their team and their great season.
"I think the thing I admire most about our team is never giving up. We never got mad at each other," Gilbert said. "I don't think we could have done anything else given the way the game went."
"Every time I know we're going up against Jesuit, we know it's going to be a hard battle because they are tough competition and because we don't both don't want to lose to each other," Sutherland added. "We respect that they came out hard."
For the game, Sutherland led LO with four goals, while Freeman, Gilbert and Ziegler added two each and Ivey one. Anders and Mullen caused two turnovers each.
For Jesuit, Lee scored six goals and Smith added four, Daigle and Sobol had two assists each, and Mahler finished with seven saves.
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