PORTLAND — The lacrosse playoffs came down to the last game of the season for HRV, but according to coach Chris Kelly, it didn’t have to.
“If we had beaten OES just once, Friday’s game with Lincoln wouldn’t have been as big a deal,” he said. “Unfortunately, we had to put it all on the line in our last game and we came up a bit short.”
The Eagles lost 10-5 to the same team they had beaten 14-6 one week before in Hood River, and missed out on the Columbia Division’s final playoff berth by one game.
“Our heads just weren’t in it,” Kelly said of Friday’s rematch. “The spark wasn’t there the same way it was last week.”
Leading scorers Jon Munk and Todd Anderson each netted two goals and Josh Kitts one, but Kelly said this was not the same team that thrashed the Cardinals on May 3.
“The first time was kind of an unknown for us and we played with no fear,” he said. “But the suspense was gone for this one and we never really got it together.”
HRV finished at 6-4 in league and 10-4-1 overall, good for fourth place. Lincoln and OES tied for second at 7-3, and Grant took first at 8-2.
Kelly said that despite missing the postseason, he was still content with his team’s play this season, and expects even better things in 2003.
“When my guys are playing at the top of their game, they can beat anyone in the state,” Kelly said. “They proved that against teams like Grant, Lincoln and Lake Oswego. “But as good as we are, we need to bring the same intensity to every game.”
HRV graduates six seniors this year, including starters Ryan Goe, Cody Cataldo and Kitts. Marc Reed, Max Powers and Chris Remer will also be moving on, but Kelly remains optimistic.
“I’m already excited for next year,” he said. “We’re losing some key pieces, but we have plenty of strong underclassmen that can fill in. I think we’re going to be fine.”
Leading the way next year will be Munk and Anderson up front, Jacobe Krizman and Tyler Monzie in the middle, and Nate Dethman and Todd Shyppertt on the back line.
The Eagles received five all-league selections for the 2002 season. Senior middy Josh Kitts was named to the first team, while Todd Anderson, Todd Shyppertt and Jacobe Krizman earned second-team honors. Junior attacker Jon Munk received honorable mention.
“Ryan Goe and some of the juniors probably deserved to make it,” Kelly said. “But the people on the team know how valuable they are.”