By DAVE LEDER
News staff writer
HOOD RIVER — A hot start gave the Hood River Valley lacrosse team a cushion last Friday against Wilson. But it was the Eagles’ third-quarter flurry that put the Trojans away.
Four goals in a span of two-and-a-half minutes stretched HRV’s four-goal lead to eight as the Eagles rolled to a 10-2 win at Henderson Stadium.
“We wanted to come out swinging this game,” said senior middy Casey Vannet, who scored a goal and added two assists to help the Eagles improve to 9-1 overall and 4-1 in the Columbia Division.
“Wilson knocked us out of playoff contention last year, so this game meant a lot. We were pretty psyched up for them, and once we got off to a good start, it just made us work harder,” he said.
The Eagles scored the first five goals of the game, and didn’t allow Wilson to answer until there were 36 seconds left in the first half.
But HRV regained its five-goal advantage just 15 seconds later when senior Zach Bohince scored the second of his team-high four goals.
Wilson cut the lead to 6-2 midway through the third quarter, adding some suspense to the surprisingly lopsided game. However, HRV came back with four more goals in the quarter to ice the game.
Josh McHale found Alex Evans in front of the net at 4:55 to make it 7-2, while Terry Sanders set up Vannet at the two-minute mark. Bohince scored at 4:28 and 1:30 to put HRV over the top.
“I thought this was our most complete game of the season on both offense and defense,” said HRV coach Mac Jackson. “Wilson is a strong team and we really took it to ‘em.”
Bohince finished the game with four goals, while McHale had two. Vannet, Evans, Sanders and Paul Spaulding each had one as HRV scored in double figures for the seventh time in 10 games.
Meanwhile, the HRV defense held an opponent to two goals or less for the fifth time this season.
“This is the way we need to play the rest of the way because if we let up like we did against Lincoln, it could cost us,” Vannet said. “We are working hard every day in practice so we can beat teams like Lincoln and OES.”
The Eagles have three tune-up games on the schedule in the next week-and-a-half, playing Hermiston on Tuesday (results NA), Franklin on April 25, and Cleveland on April 29, all at home.
The Eagles’ next three opponents have a combined record of 1-24, which isn’t exactly the warmup they will need to get ready for Lincoln and OES, the defending state champs.
But the players know they still have room for improvement as they prepare for the playoffs, which has motivated the team to avoid any letdowns against the league’s bottom third.
“We’re just going to focus on avoiding stupid mistakes,” Vannet said. “If we can keep running our offense like we did against Wilson, we should give Lincoln and OES a good game.”
The much-anticipated rematch with Lincoln is scheduled for May 3 in Portland. The Eagles then travel to OES on May 6 before visiting Grant on May 10.