Hood River’s youth lacrosse continues to turn heads this season as teams representing the program compete and defeat bigger and more seasoned teams from across the state. The most recent example of the local lacrosse momentum is two first-place finishes last weekend at the VooDoo Invitational Lacrosse Tournament at Portland’s Buckman Fields.
Hood River’s 7th-8th grade boys team defeated the Bend Bombers 7-6 in sudden death to take the tournament win after a hard-fought weekend of action. Meanwhile, the 5th-6th grade Hood River Firehawks went undefeated in five games over the weekend to take the tournament with a 5-4 overtime win in the finals against Liberty. Attacker Levi Glass is credited with the game-winning goal.
As the last tournament of the spring, the wins close the season on a sweet note — sweetened even further with VooDoo donuts for the boys after the finals.
“The VooDoo Tournament was both a coach’s nightmare and a dream,” said 7-8 coach Al Barton. “We went into the weekend with a number of injuries to key players, including goalie Pierce McAlpine, defender Wyatt Mansfield and midfielders Charlie Cohn and Ben Van Hoose. To see players like Taylor Peterson, Joey Slover and Mikey Hall step into leadership roles to match stalwarts like Bruce Ostler, Cully Bryant, Elliott Cramer, Jackson Lebsack, Steven Crouch and Henry Barton was impressive.”
Barton also noted a critical boost by rookie players like Hunter Underwood and Bryce Donald.
The 7-8 team’s overtime victory over the Bend Bombers was sweet revenge for the Hood River boys since they had lost to the same team three times this season.
For the 5-6 boys, the overtime win was just as sweet, since Liberty jumped out with an early 3-0 lead in the first half of the championship game and looked like they were going to walk away with the title.
Alex McAlpine scored at the end of the first half to give the Firehawks a boost going into halftime. By the end of the second half the Hood River boys were in a tight spot — behind 4-3 with less than two minutes remaining. McAlpine scored his second goal to tie the game and force an overtime situation. In the third four-minute overtime period, Matthew Tichenor assisted Sean FitzSimon for the game-winning goal.
Goalie Jackson West was credited with an outstanding weekend, allowing 16 goals in five games, while the Hood River offense scored 36 goals. Attack veteran Tallon Henderson was the lead scorer for the team and the tournament.