The Lake Oswego boys lacrosse team was dead in the water.
For three quarters of their Oregon High School Lacrosse Association state semifinal game against Lakeridge on Wednesday, May 29, the Lakers had accomplished ... just about nothing. Lake Oswego entered the fourth quarter with just three goals on the scoreboard, trailed the Pacers by six and looked for all the world as if its season was 12 minutes away from being over.
But nobody told the Lakers.
Lake Oswego strung together eight straight goals in the fourth quarter, saw Lakeridge rebound to score twice in the final 27 seconds of regulation and force overtime, then got the game-winner in extra time to beat the Pacers 12-11 at Lake Oswego High School.
"Obviously, the score was not looking good for us. They had all the momentum. They were playing great," said Lake Oswego junior midfielder Marshall McGuire, who finished with two goals, including the game-winner 40 seconds into overtime. "We just figured we had to dig down. Never panic. Trust your teammates. Trust yourself. We knew that we were going to get after it and we stayed together and we came back and this was the result."
"It was just destined to happen," said Laker junior attack Jonas Hunter, who led all scorers with four goals — all of them in the fourth quarter — and two assists. "Honestly, we just kept everything the same. We just believed and wanted it and gave it everything we had."
With the win, the Lakers earned a berth in the OHSLA state championship game against Three Rivers League foe West Linn at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1, at Lake Oswego High School. The second-seeded Lions, the TRL runners-up, carry a six-game winning streak and a 17-3 record into the title contest.
"I was starting to get emotional because I thought we were going to lose and I thought 'That's my entire lacrosse career, right there,' but nope," said Lake Oswego senior attack Dylan Baker, who scored the Lakers' first goal of the fourth quarter and assisted on McGuire's game-winner. "We are still going to the championship."
With the win, the Lakers' eighth straight, fourth-seeded TRL champion Lake Oswego improved to 15-4 overall. Top-seeded Lakeridge, meanwhile, saw its three-game winning streak snapped and ended its year at 16-6.
"We all believed we could come back, but it just didn't go our way in the end," said Lakeridge junior attack Luke Lamont, who finished with one goal and one assist. "I'm going to miss all the seniors so much."
"Our offense was moving well (early), but that fourth quarter got tough for us," said Lakeridge sophomore midfielder Cody Hart, who led his team with three goals. "We probably had possession for three minutes that whole quarter, max. I think it was all … (about) the fourth quarter possession time."
"We came out with the early lead, but we didn't get the result we wanted," added senior midfielder Wes Jackson. "They just came with a lot of momentum and you just can't let teams build momentum like that because it'll come back and bite you."
For the game's first three quarters, however, it was pretty much all Pacers all the time. After a 1-1 first quarter — Charlie Ryan scored for Lake Oswego and Thiago Achar-Winkels came through for Lakeridge — the Pacers took control with a dominant 4-0 second quarter.
Lamont kicked off that period by scoring off a Ty DeLancellotti pass 2 minutes, 21 seconds into the period and Ty Glumbik followed just more than a minute later to make it 3-1. Five minutes after that, Lamont made a steal and set up Jackson McGinley for a goal, and then, DeLancellotti connected from the left side with 8 seconds remaining in the half to give his team a 5-1 lead at the break.
The Lakers revived their offense in the third quarter — they broke a 17-minute scoring drought when Ryan hit from 12 yards out after a long scramble for possession — but still fell further behind as the Pacers notched a 4-2 scoring edge in the period.
Hart scored Lakeridge's first two goals in the third, the first off a Lamont pass, and after Ryan's score, another to push the Pacer lead to 7-2 with 5:32 remaining in the frame. McGuire connected on a long run up the right seam, but the Pacers answered with another two scores, one from McGinley and the second by Hunter Daskalos from short range on the left side to make it 9-3 entering the final period.
"We were just moving the ball. We had a game plan and we knew what we had to do," Lamont said. "We had to move the ball and make the defense work and that's what we were doing. They kept switching up their defenses (because) they didn't know how to stop it."
"I think the main thing was no one was worried about the end of the game," Jackson said. "We were just worrying about getting the next ground ball, winning the next play. Everyone had the mentality of trying to win the next play, the next ground ball and it really just resonated throughout the whole team."
The fourth quarter, however, was a very different story.
Starting with Baker's goal — assisted by Hunter 2:37 into the period — the Lakers just took off. Lake Oswego's Michael Shakerin won five straight faceoffs for Lake Oswego in the fourth quarter, kept the ball out of the Pacers' hands most of the period, set the table for the storm ahead, and made it two straight for LO when he connected while falling to the turf just 15 seconds after Baker's score.
Hunter stepped up next, scoring a low wrap-around goal from the left side, then duplicating that effort on the right side less than a minute later to cut the Pacer lead to 9-7. Dominick Sinclair came through next on a pass from Hunter, and Hunter connected again after taking a McGuire pass to tie the game at 9-9.
The Lakers weren't done either.
Ryan scored on a cut to the goal assisted by McGuire with 3:07 to play and Hunter beat a double team for his fourth goal and an 11-9 edge with just 50 seconds on the clock.
It was obvious — the Lakeridge boys lacrosse team was dead in the water.
But no one told the Pacers.
They battled, won possession of the ball and saw Glumbik connect from the right side to bring Lakeridge within 11-10 with 27 seconds to play. Then, after a faceoff win by Lakeridge's Jake Reichle, Hart connected from 12 yards with 10 seconds to go and forced overtime.
"That started with our seniors. Our seniors are the ones who led us from day one," Hart said. "They started us this season and they led us, gave us confidence in ourselves to do well and they led us in that belief of not giving up, not rolling over."
"Jackson McGinley and all of our captains were saying 'Don't give up. Keep believing' and we all believed in them," Lamont said.
In overtime, Shakerin flipped the ball forward on the faceoff, McGuire scooped it up and Lake Oswego called a timeout. After the restart, Ryan took a pass 10 yards out of the Pacer goal on the left side of the field, then cut toward the cage. As defenders converged on him, he passed to Baker behind the Pacer goal on the left side. Baker ran forward and as the Lakeridge defense reacted to him, he flipped a short pass to McGuire five yards out of goal. McGuire caught the ball and scored to the top of the Lakeridge goal and end the game.
"I had to take a risk and it worked out," Baker said. "I know Marshall is a big body and that he'll catch it and he'll dunk it and he did. It felt great."
"We had a great dodge set up, great ball movement (and) we knew backside cuts were there all day," McGuire said. "I knew Dylan was going to throw it to me and all I had to do was catch it and put it in the back of the net."
For the game, Ryan added three goals and McGuire two for Lake Oswego, and goalie George O'Brian made eight saves. For Lakeridge, McGinley and Glumbik had two scores each, and DeLancellotti scored once and had three assists.
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