By DAVE LEDER
News staff writer
HOOD RIVER — Any fear the Hood River Valley lacrosse team had about playing league rival Grant was whisked away last Friday with a commanding 9-1 victory at Henderson Stadium.
Considered one of the favorites in the Columbia East Division, Grant tried to set a physical tone early in the league opener for both teams. But the Eagles were too quick and too skilled to be affected by Grant’s over-aggressive play, and picked apart the Generals from the opening faceoff.
“I thought they would be better than that, but we pretty much controlled them from the start,” said HRV senior defender Alex Princehouse, who helped match Grant’s physical play along with Luke McCarthy, Peter Guth, Matt Brauer and goalkeeper Adam Mack. “Our team quickness and stick skills took them out of the game early.”
Senior attacker David Voigt got the scoring started just three minutes into the game, while Paul Spaulding and Chris Riedl each notched first-quarter goals to give HRV a 3-0 lead after one period.
Grant found the net 15 seconds into the second quarter, but the Eagles answered at the 11:30 mark when Josh McHale scored the first of his two goals on the night. Spaulding added another goal, and Ian Bohince followed with one of his own to raise HRV’s advantage to 6-1 at the half.
Riedl and McHale connected for another score at the 8-minute mark of the third before Riedl netted his second goal of the night to put HRV up 8-1 after three.
Senior Casey Vannet tacked on one more inside the final minute of the game, and just like that, the Eagles were 6-0 (1-0 Columbia Division).
“Grant was one of the better teams we beat last year, and after this win, we pretty much own them,” Voigt said. “We broke them down in every way.”
The undefeated Eagles are now focusing their attention on Friday’s home matchup with Lincoln, which is traditionally one of the stronger teams in the division.
The 3-2 Cardinals lost a number of all-division players to graduation, and are in a similar position to where HRV was in 2004. Despite a slight advantage on paper, however, the Eagles aren’t looking past anyone right now.
“At this point, we’re planning to win the division, but we’re not going to let our strong start go to our heads,” said Mack, a senior goalkeeper. “Our collective goal is to play for a state title, but we have to take it one game at a time.”
As a tuneup for Friday’s showdown, HRV played at 0-4 Hermiston on Tuesday (results not available at press time). Also coming up on the schedule is an April 15 matchup with Wilson.