Starting off the season with two losses in three games was exactly the fuel the HRV lacrosse team needed last weekend when it hosted league showdowns with Lincoln and Hermiston.
The Eagles posted double-digit goals in each of their two home wins — an 11-9 comeback over Lincoln and a 14-1 pummeling of Hermiston. They then eclipsed single digits again on Monday at Hermiston (10-3) to raise their season record to 4-2 (3-1 league).
“We’re just taking it one game at a time,” coach Mac Jackson said. “This is a very tough league, and we know that Hermiston hasn’t caught up to everyone yet. But it’s still good for us to get three straight wins.”
Senior attacker Todd Anderson led the offense in two of the three games, with three goals against Lincoln and five against Hermiston on Monday. Jon Munk matched Anderson with three goals versus Lincoln, and then poured it on Saturday with four goals and two assists.
Fellow senior Corey VanDlac netted two goals in Friday’s game with Lincoln — including the tying goal with six minutes remaining — while senior middy Jacobe Krizman had one versus Lincoln and two in the first Hermiston game.
Senior Corey Olson got into the act on Saturday, scoring two goals and delivering two assists. Meanwhile, sophomore Casey Vannet scored one goal in each of the weekend games, and earned praise from the coaching staff for his effort.
“This is Casey’s first year on varsity and he is starting to make up a very strong middle unit along with Josh McHale and Michael Clement,” Jackson said.
McHale and Clement each scored a goal Saturday, along with Kyle Zuercher and Will Galvin. Senior Justin Wiley found the net late in the first half of Friday’s victory — a win that Jackson called, “one of the best games I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”
Coming off a disappointing 8-7 loss to the same Lincoln squad on April 8, the Eagles knew they would have to work hard if they were to make up precious ground in the Columbia Division.
HRV fell behind 3-1 early, but scored once before the end of the first quarter to make it 3-2. Lincoln came out firing in the second, scoring twice in the first two minutes to make it 5-2.
But Jackson knew something wasn’t right and called a timeout. Whatever he said worked, because the Eagles came back with a vengeance, scoring three goals in 1:30 to tie the game.
Wiley and Vannet each scored before the half to give HRV a 7-5 lead, but the Cardinals were able to get one back right before the buzzer for a 7-6 halftime score.
Lincoln seized control out of the locker room, scoring twice in the first four minutes of the third quarter for an 8-7 lead. They tacked on another to make it 9-7 after three. But that’s when the HRV offense woke up.
Krizman got one back at the 10:15 mark, before VanDlac’s rocket goal tied the game at 6:04. Munk maneuvered inside for the go-ahead strike at 5:05, and VanDlac added an insurance goal with one minute left for the 11-9 win.
“You can never put a game like that in the bank,” Jackson said. “You just have to play and do whatever you can to scrap together a win. That’s the kind of game we’ll need the rest of the way.”
Jackson credited his defense for holding it together late, and specifically praised John Thatcher and Jared Gidley for their effort. Todd Shypertt, Nate Dethman, Matt Cody, Noel Thomas and goalie Sean Jennings also made a huge difference on the back line.
Next up, HRV hosts league rival Grant at 7 p.m. Friday at Henderson Stadium.