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Girls’ lax grows fast

By ADAM LAPIERRE

News staff writer

May 6, 2006

Next spring, the newly formed Hood River Valley High School girls’ lacrosse team will take a big step forward in terms of numbers and experience. This season, the first-year HRVHS team has only one girl with former lacrosse experience. Next season, however, that number will change drastically due to the progression of the sport at the middle school level.

In its’ second year of action, Hood River’s middle school girls’ lacrosse team is 34 players deep, with about half the girls returning from the team’s inaugural season and about half new to the sport.

The team’s mother-daughter coaching pair, Sybil and Kristina Nance, is working hard this season to teach the basics of what is considered the west coast’s fastest growing sport. For the new girls, learning the rules and the basic stick and ball skills has been the early-season priority, while the more experienced players are working to develop a broader sense of the game and how to work as a team on the field.

The girls have four games under their belts so far, with two wins and two losses against their Portland-area competition. The following are game highlights:

Vs. Oregon Episcopal

Hood River won 7-3, with Audrey Mallon kicking the team’s season off with a goal in the opening minute of the game and another a few minutes later. With goals by Toby Carratt and another from Mallon, the girls led 4-2 at halftime.

In the first half returning players took to the field, while the newcomers watched how a game runs. In the second half, the new girls stepped onto the field for their first-ever lacrosse game.

After making two saves in the first half, goalie Morgan Nance swapped positions with Mallon and took to the field. Nance went on to score two in the second half and Zoe Kao scored one.

Vs. Beaverton

The Hood River girls went 1-1 in the double-header against Beaverton. The first game was a B-team battle, ending with an 8-7 loss for the less-experienced girls on the Hood River team, with some assistance from the returning players.

The A-team stepped out for the second game of the day and trounced the Beaverton girls 11-3. Hood River started strong and didn’t let up. Makenzie Bassham struck with the first goal, followed by scores from Toby Carratt, Bassham, Harleigh Knoll and Nance. Mallon kept the score to 5-1 at halftime with several saves in the goal.

In the second half, Mallon proved to be a dominant player on the field with five goals to her credit. Bassham chipped in with another in the half as well, while at goalie rookie Jaki Bryant came up with four saves.

Vs. Wilson

The girls challenged a formative, more experienced squad of Wilson eighth-graders last weekend, losing 14-9 in the end. In the first half, the girls came out striking. Mallon and Kao scored early in the half, but Wilson answered with some solid skills to take an 8-6 lead by halftime despite goalie Sarah Brunk making seven saves in the net.

Wilson went on to outscore Hood River six goals to three in the second half to secure the win.

Remaining games:

(Home games at Westside)

May 6 — HOME vs. Lake Oswego, 10 a.m.

May 11 — at Oregon City

May 13 — HOME vs. West Linn, 11:15 a.m.

May 19 — at Wilson, 5 and 6:15 p.m.

May 20 — HOME vs. Beaverton, 10 and 11:15 a.m.

May 27 — HOME vs. Lake Oswego, 10 and 11:15 a.m.

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