Girls go toe-to-toe with the best

Down by one goal with less than a minute left to play, senior attack Makenzie Bassham fielded a loose ball in the backfield. With six goals on the night already, including one just a minute earlier, Bassham ran the ball the length of the field, past several Lincoln defenders, and straight to the goal.

Her 10th shot of the game –– representing a tie against one of the state’s top girls lacrosse teams (9-4-0) –– was about half an inch too high. The ball pinged off the top crossbar of the goal and rolled back on the field.

Senior Ashley Sellner picked up the rebound with about 15 seconds on the clock. One of the toughest players on the field, Sellner drove to the goal from 30 yards out and fired off a last-second shot. Another shot deflected off the metal goal, just wide this time, and the game ended in true nail-biting excitement.

The 11-12 at-home loss brings the Hood River Valley High School varsity girls lacrosse team to 6-7 in the league with one last regular-season match remaining.

“Of course it’s disappointing to come so close, but we played a great game against a really good team,” Bassham said after the game. “Last time we played this team we lost 17-4, so this was a great improvement. It shows how far we’ve come this year and how much we’ve improved.”

“It’s games like tonight when you can see the potential and talent that is on our team,” Coach Erin Currie said. “It is so fun to watch and be a part of. The girls have a lot to proud of in the way that they played tonight.”

Player of the game honors went to Bassham, with six goals, 10 shots and a commanding performance around the crease. Kristin Lago had two goals for the night and Aleah DeHart, Gabby Dittenhofer and Ashley Sellner all had a goal apiece. On the other end of the field, Eagles defense hung tough against a team that had better stick skills and ball control.

“They definitely had more experienced players,” Bassham said. “But we matched that with speed and hustle. That’s what kept us in the game.”

In the goal, Cristina Silva had another solid performance (10 saves), again showing why she is top in the league with a season-total 165 saves in 13 games.

“Defensively, Kaili Duffy had an outstanding game tonight with high intensity and drive that helped set the pace for the game,” Currie said. “Other key players were Kayla Van Hoose, Makenzie Bassham, Ashley Sellner and Kristin Lago.”

As senior night, the game will be the last at home for Bassham, Ricki Swearingen, Kayla Schurton, Sellner, Celine Mazzoleni and DeHart. The team finishes its regular season May 9 with an away game against Oregon Episcopal School.

“We are really going to miss our seniors next year,” Currie said. “We are looking forward to our last game at OES. We are hoping to come at them with the same drive, focus and intensity that we displayed tonight against Lincoln. If we play strong one-on-one defense and pass the ball well in the midfield, I think we will be more successful than our last game against OES.”

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