For the first time in school history, the Hood River girls lacrosse team advanced to the semifinals in the gold bracket of the Oregon Girls Lacrosse Playoffs.
Prior to the semifinal matchup against Lake Oswego on May 21, the Eagles beat West Linn in the quarterfinals by a final score of 11-10, HRV’s first appearance in the quarterfinals of gold bracket competition.
The 11-10 win for HRV could’ve easily been a double-digit victory for the Eagles, but the girls shot 11-31 from the field against West Linn, leaving a total of 20 shots off the scoreboard.
And although West Linn shot an efficient 10-15 from the field, HRV’s ability to constantly attack the defense and limit opportunities at goal for West Linn ultimately wore down the Lions and gave HRV the 11-10 edge.
Abagail Bartles led HRV in scoring with four goals on five shots.
Four other Eagles would combine for the seven other goals scored: Kathryn Koenig (3); Josie Petersen (2); Katherine McElderry (1); and Lauren Trumbull (1).
Of the 11 goals scored, HRV assisted on five of those goals, with five different athletes tallying an assist: Brynne Holman, Terra Mikkelsen, Lauren Orr, Isabella Simpson and Koenig.
Another reason HRV was able to control the pace and possession on the offensive end was because of its dominating performance in faceoffs.
The Eagles had 16 of the 23 total faceoffs in the game versus West Linn, with Koenig leading the way with eight and Trumbull behind her with six.
HRV’s Ella Rand was in the goal against the Lions and she saved six of 16 shots she saw at goal for a percentage of 37.5.
The victory over West Linn clinched HRV a spot in the semifinals against the undefeated Lake Oswego Lakers.
Lake Oswego was 19-1, before the matchup with HRV, and is the number one ranked team in the state.
The Lakers were coming off a 17-6 quarterfinals victory over Oregon Episcopal School.
Even though the Eagles weren’t the favorites heading into Lake Oswego, “the girls fought until the bitter end and conducted themselves with dignity,” said head coach Andrew McElderry. “The team showed a great team effort against Lake Oswego.”
HRV’s season would come to an end versus Lake Oswego, losing 14-9 in the semifinals of the gold bracket.
But the Eagles’ season wouldn’t end without one last fight.
Earlier on in this game HRV was tied 2-2 with the Lakers.
However, a 6-0 run followed by Lake Oswego to close out the first half and they would head into halftime up 8-2.
In the second half, HRV outscored Lake Oswego 7-6, but the 6-0 run by the Lakers to close out the first half proved to be too much for the Eagles to overcome.
“Bekah (assistant coach) and I are very proud of the girls for not only making it, but competing in the semifinal game,” said McElderry. “It’s the farthest Hood River has ever made it and we could not be happier for such a wonderful group of players.”
HRV had four different athletes score its nine goals versus Lake Oswego; Bartles and Koenig led the way with three goals each.
Katherine McElderry (2) and Petersen (1) were the other scorers for HRV in the semifinal game.
Despite not having an assist against the Lakers, HRV’s troubles that set them back in this game came in faceoffs and turning over the ball.
Lake Oswego took a 15-10 advantage in faceoffs and forced nine turnovers on HRV, while the Eagles forced only two turnovers on the Lakers.
Rand had a busy night versus Lake Oswego, as she saw a total of 22 shots at goal. She ended with eight saves for a percentage of 36.4.
The HRV girls record to end the season was 13-4, including a second place finish in conference with a 5-1 record.
After the loss versus Lake Oswego, Andrew McElderry announced he will be stepping down as head coach of the girls lacrosse team next season.
“It’s been a great run coaching,” he said. “After somewhere around 20 years of coaching, my time as head coach is done. Our group this year really got what we were teaching, and I am happy that this team ended its season making HRV history in what was a fantastic final game.”