The Hood River Valley lacrosse team had only a few days to bask in the glory of making the playoffs.
Now, just one week later, the Oregon High School Lacrosse playoffs are but a memory.
But, for the sake of the Eagles’ 15 seniors, at least they’re mostly good memories.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” senior Todd Anderson said after Tuesday’s 16-11 first-round win over Lake Oswego. “This was such a big team win. We just hope to do it again on Thursday.”
And just like that, the season was over.
HRV had only one day off before boarding a bus to Eugene to face the Willamette Division champs, Sheldon, on Thursday night.
But the long bus ride, combined with a lack of rhythm, sent HRV to a 9-6 defeat — the end of a long, arduous road.
“Whether it was the heat, playing on the road or difficulty getting ready for another big game after the huge win over Lake Oswego, we never got our Hood River-style game going,” coach Mac Jackson said.
The Eagles fell behind 5-0 midway through the second quarter, but senior Jacobe Krizman scored two quick goals to keep them in it. By halftime, Sheldon led 6-4, and HRV was within reach. But after that, it was “back-and-forth,” and someone’s season had to end.
“I don’t want to dwell on this one,” Jackson said. “It’s was pretty disappointing. But the win over Lake Oswego was a great high point for the season, which took Hood River lacrosse further than ever before.”
HRV won the first playoff game in program history behind four goals from Anderson and Jon Munk, and three each from Tyler Monzie and Krizman.
Tuesday's win was HRV's third in a row overall, and it also gave them a measure of revenge against Lake Oswego, which had beaten them 18-15 back on April 4.
“I cannot credit the comeback character of this team enough,” Jackson said after Tuesday’s game. “They toughed it out, persisted and got it done as a team.”
HRV led the game from start to finish, and took advantage of superior team speed and endurance to crush the Lakers.
After leading 6-3 after one quarter of play, Lake Oswego scored early in the second quarter to cut the lead to two. But Krizman, Corey VanDlac and Monzie scored consecutive goals to give HRV a 9-4 cushion.
Lake O kept coming back, scoring two more in the final three minutes of the half. But Anderson found sophomore Kyle Zuercher in front of the net at 1:21 to put HRV up 10-6.
Despite allowing a “slop” goal with 42 seconds left in the half, HRV reeled off four goals in the third quarter to build a six-goal lead and seal the victory.