The Hood River Valley High School boys lacrosse team scored four goals in the final minutes of Friday night’s at-home matchup against the Cleveland Warriors to take control of an otherwise close game. The 8-3 result is their first Columbia Conference win.
With less than three minutes remaining, the Eagles (1-1 league, 6-4 overall) were clinging to a slim lead over Cleveland (0-2, 5-5). With both squads playing tough defense, most of the fourth quarter was a scoreless battle until, in the final few minutes, junior attacker Brandon Kerr and senior midfielder Miles Mayer scored two goals apiece to secure the win.
“This was a big win because it helps us get closer to our goal of possibly reaching the playoffs,” said Kerr. “It took us awhile to get going offensively, but after we started playing better, things went pretty well, especially in the last couple of minutes. Our defense shut them down pretty good and we didn’t allow them to touch the ball too often.”
HRV, guided by first-year coach Jon Munk, hopes to stay in contention for a playoff berth with just four games remaining. The Eagles will host the Oregon Episcopal Aardvarks (2-0, 7-4) in their next contest, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Hood River Valley High School.
“We should’ve played a lot better, because they are not one of the stronger teams in our league,” said Munk. “It was kind of a close game until the last couple of minutes. We played pretty tough near the end and did what we had to do in order to get the win.”
The Eagles had trouble getting into an offensive rhythm early as it was nearly a scoreless first quarter. Senior attacker Ian Hunt fired in a shot with just 21 seconds left in the quarter to help give HRV a 1-0 edge after the first 12 minutes.
“We had somewhat of a slow start, but then we just started attacking better and we got things going offensively,” said Hunt. “It’s nice to get a home win in front of our fans, so that’s pretty exciting. Hopefully, we’ll win a few more games, which is something I think we’re capable of doing and then we’ll definitely have a good chance of making the playoffs.”
Sophomore attacker Taylor Cramer connected for two goals in less than five minutes to help build a 3-0 lead before halftime. Cleveland trimmed the margin after scoring two minutes later, and stayed within striking distance down just 3-1 at the half.
“We had a tough game against Central Catholic (an 8-7 double overtime road loss May 24), so we really needed this win,” said Munk. “The upcoming game’s against OES and Lincoln (May 10) will definitely be a challenge for us, because both are powerhouse teams. We just need to win against teams that we’re expected to beat. If we do that, then I think we’ll have a chance to reach the playoffs.”