It wasn't supposed to end like this — and certainly not so early — for the Lake Oswego boys lacrosse team.
But the Rams, who went 3-2 and placed third in the Columbia Conference, proved far tougher than their seed might have indicated. Central Catholic pushed ahead by one goal at halftime, built that lead to two in the third quarter, then shut out the Lakers in the fourth quarter to win 10-4 at Lake Oswego High School.
Our "normally fast-paced, creative offense that could pick apart many teams' defenses was unable to settle in for the game and generate any scoring momentum," said Lake Oswego coach Rick Gruen. "All in all, it was a very successful season for a young LO boys lacrosse team that ended much too quickly."
The Lakers actually led early on thanks to two quick transition goals, the first on a clearing break with senior attackman Erich Reuter scoring from close in on a feed from freshman attackman Jonas Hunter, and the second when junior midfielder Cal Motylewski intercepted a pass from the Central Catholic goalie and connected on a long open net shot from midfield.
That early momentum wouldn't last, however. The Rams battled back to lead by two scores late in the half before the Lakers added a goal by senior long stick midfielder Andrew Gates off an assist by senior Drew Pieringer to make it 4-3.
While the Lakers were close on the scoreboard, all their goals had come off transition while their set offense had yet to connect.
The two teams traded scores in the third quarter, with the Rams scoring first and Lake Oswego answering with a nice dodge-and-shoot goal by freshman midfielder Marshall McGuire to make it 5-4 entering the final period.
But Central boosted its lead to 6-4 at the start of the final period, Lake Oswego's offensive woes continued and the Rams slowly but surely pulled away to win 10-4.
With our "unsettled offense and turnovers, Central Catholic was able to gain more possessions and control the pace of the game along with their very deliberate, and long, offensive possessions," Gruen said.
The youthful Lakers, who finished 14-6 overall, will graduate five seniors from this year's team, including Pieringer, Gates, Reuter, Josh Gillrie and Lucas Fender.