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The Lakers lose two starting defenders to injury, but play stellar on 'D' nonetheless

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lake Oswego defenders Keenan DeRaeve (left) and Henry Sorenson both got hurt late in the 2019 season as the Lakers headed toward their first-ever OHSLA state championship.The Lake Oswego boys lacrosse team faced a bunch of challenges this year.

First came a deadly non-league schedule that included Oregon powers Lincoln, Sunset, Oregon Episcopal School and Jesuit, as well as a tough spring break trip to Idaho.

Next came the tough as nails Three Rivers League, which produced three of the state's top four seeds to the 2019 OHSLA state playoffs — No. 1 Lakeridge, No. 2 West Linn and No. 4 Lake Oswego.

Then there was the rest of the state playoff field — including two-time defending state champion OES — and the steep climb toward winning Lake Oswego's first-ever state championship in boys lacrosse.

But none of those compared with the challenge presented by injuries to starting defenders Keenan DeRaeve and Henry Sorenson. DeRaeve, a senior who was named first-team all-league and all-state in 2018, suffered a suspected concussion in his team's 12-7 quarterfinal win over Jesuit on May 24. Sorenson, a junior Hartford commit, hurt a knee in the team's May 10 win over Lakeridge, and like DeRaeve, did not play in the Lakers' remaining games.

So when Lake Oswego beat West Linn 14-7 in the Oregon High School Lacrosse Association state championship game on Saturday, June 1, at Lake Oswego High School, DeRaeve and Sorenson were still at the forefront of the Lakers' thoughts.

"I went up to Keenan after the game and I was like 'This is all for you guys," said Laker junior attack Jonas Hunter. "Everything they put into the program, it was all for them."

"Making up for those guys on the field was difficult because both those guys just have some special attributes," added Lake Oswego senior goalie George O'Brien.

Needless to say, the Lakers' walking wounded were proud of their teammates' efforts and glad to be remembered for their contributions.

"I'm just proud of my team and my defense," said DeRaeve, who will play next year at Maris College. "They really stepped up and took on the adversity and they played great."

The Laker defense was at its best down the stretch in 2019. Lake Oswego won its final 10 games of the season while holding eight of its final 10 opponents to fewer than 10 goals. Only top-seeded crosstown rival Lakeridge hit double figures against the Lakers in that span, but the Lakers won both those contests, a 13-11 win in TRL play on May 10 and a 12-11 overtime victory in the state semifinals on May 29.

That success was due in part to the efforts of DeRaeve, Sorenson, junior Connor Willhnganz and O'Brien, and after DeRaeve and Sorenson's injuries, to the team's two new starters, junior Jack Schrimsher and freshman Ethan Hecht.

O'Brien and DeRaeve explained how the Lakers were able to transition so effectively with the team's changing defensive lineup.

"We focus on playing together as a unit. Especially on defense, we focus less on individual effort," O'Brien said. "When the coaches put in a great game plan, it's hard to mess up even when you've got … your second string in. When you play hard and play as a team, it doesn't matter."

"All props to them for stepping up and doing great," DeRaeve said. "It's the next-man-up mentality we always talk about."

The results — the Lakers held talented West Linn to just two goals in the final 33 minutes, 23 seconds of the championship game — spoke for themselves.

"Shout out to Ethan Hecht, the freshman — he really stepped up — and Jack Schrimsher," said Lake Oswego senior Dylan Baker. "Those guys really stepped up. We put a lot of pressure on them and they did well."

Contact Sports Editor Miles Vance at 503-330-0127 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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