You couldn't have asked for a much more dramatic way to clinch a spot in this year's Final Four for boys lacrosse. After having nearly an entire quarter of play wiped off the books on Friday night due to lightning in the area, Lake Oswego and Southridge started over on Saturday and played a nail-biter.
The Lakers' defense set the tone in the first half as Southridge struggled to get near the net. Lake Oswego's physical play forced turnovers and Lake Oswego held a significant advantage in terms of possession all evening.
The Southridge defense was equally solid but the Lakers were slowly able to build a 4-1 lead.
In the third quarter, the Skyhawks started to mount a comeback, scoring back-to-back goals to make it 4-3. More lightning then caused another 45-minute delay in the game.
"We thought the delay would help us because it might slow down their momentum a bit but they're a really good team and they have a lot of fight," coach Joe O'Donnell said.
From that point on, the teams traded goals as Lake Oswego and Southridge each tried to gain control of the game.
Lake Oswego was dominant on face-offs, winning that statistic 14-5 thanks to the play of James Watkins and Ryan Hearon. The team also held a significant advantage on ground balls, topping Southridge 28-16.
But the Skyhawks were efficient on the shots they got in the second half. Southridge would take a one-goal lead in the second half but the Lakers quickly responded.
The game was tied at 8-8 in the final minute when Lake Oswego won possession. The Lakers called their final time-out with a little more than 30 seconds to play to draw up a final look.
Lake Oswego swung the ball around and found Watkins for an open look which he bounced into the net with just four seconds to play in the game.
"It was an unbelievable goal. It was nice to be on the other end of something like that," O'Donnell said.
It was a huge win for the Lakers and propelled them into the Final Four and a rematch with Sunset on Wednesday. Lake Oswego previously defeated Sunset in the first game of the season. Watkins, Billy Able, Seth Goddin and Hearon all finished with two goals for Lake Oswego.