West Linn boys lacrosse knocks off Lake Oswego 13-11
Back and forth, up and down, one massive momentum shift after another.
That, more than anything else, characterized the Friday, April 22, battle between the West Linn and Lake Oswego-Riverdale boys lacrosse teams.
In the end, the Lions took control midway through the fourth quarter, rallied from a two-goal deficit and pulled away to win 13-11 at Lake Oswego High School.
"When we started getting ground balls is when the game turned around," said West Linn sophomore midfielder Gage Hurych, who tied for team-high scoring honors with three goals and also had two ground balls. "That's when we really started getting goals and started scoring."
"In that fourth quarter, we did an amazing job of moving the ball around, sharing the rock and getting everyone touches," said junior attack Harrison Edwards, who scored three times and added one assist and three ground balls. "We were playing as a team and hustling up and down the field."
With the win, the Lions' fifth straight, West Linn improved to 3-0 in Three Rivers League play and 8-3 overall. Lake Oswego, meanwhile, saw its two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 2-1 in TRL play and 9-2 overall.
After the game, the Lakers said they knew that — even with their two-goal fourth-quarter lead — nothing was guaranteed against the talented Lions.
"Lacrosse is a game that ebbs and flows, a game of runs because teams can score a couple points, but when you have two teams that are very well-matched, it's just going to be a dogfight," said Lake Oswego senior midfielder Gavin McGuire, who finished with one goal and one ground ball.
"West Linn is a … rival, in every sport — football, basketball, lacrosse — it's a big game," said Lake Oswego junior midfielder Calvin Macy, who led all scorers with six goals and added one ground ball. "In lacrosse … momentum changes so quickly that I don't count it as a victory until the clock says zero."
The two teams took turns trading punches in the first quarter, with three players scoring for each team and the Lions and Lakers ending the period tied at 3-3.
But Lake Oswego dominated the second frame, scoring four unanswered goals in the first 9 minutes, 33 seconds to push ahead 7-3. Macy scored twice in that stretch, while senior Cole Daly and junior Mason Fisch also connected to give their team a four-goal lead before Hurych hit late to cut his team's deficit to 7-4 at halftime.
The Lions turned the tide in the third quarter, though, stitching together a 4-0 margin in the frame to lead 8-7 at the end of the period. Senior midfielder Cooper Berggren set the table for his team's success by winning four straight faceoffs in the third to set up goals by junior Bodie LaForce, sophomore Wiley Donnerberg and two from Edwards in the final 4:37, the second of those an overhand shot from 10 yards that gave his team an 8-7 lead at the end of the stanza.
The Lakers answered in kind at the start of the fourth quarter, connecting three straight times to lead 10-8 and — at least momentarily — take control of the game. Junior Alex Kemalyan started that run when he took a pass from Macy and scored in a crowd early in the fourth, and Macy added two straight scores within 24 seconds to give his team that 10-8 lead.
But the Lions finished strong, with Berggren winning four of the game's final five faceoffs and West Linn using a 5-1 scoring edge in 4:31 to put the game on ice. The Lions got goals from five different players in that span, including LaForce, Hurych, Berggren, Donnerberg and Edwards, with Edwards' score — a low shot assisted by LaForce with 2:09 left on the clock — extending their edge to 13-10.
The Lakers got late goals from sophomore Nolan Rabb and Macy, but it was too little and too late.
"LO is always a huge game — same with Lakeridge, same with Jesuit— they're always big dogs and we've got to bring our game," Hurych said. "We had to come back together, regain our confidence and slow down a little bit, and then we started getting ground balls and moving the ball quicker and we were mentally there."
"We just need to keep our heads up and keep playing hard," Macy added. "If we just keep on rallying throughout the game, we can play with anyone in the state."
LaForce also scored three times in the Lions' win.
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.