Local stars shine for U of O club
The city of Lake Oswego has become known as a hotbed for lacrosse in the Northwest and now, thanks to a talented group of alumni from Lakeridge and Lake Oswego high schools, that reputation has gone national.
Recently, the University of Oregon's men's club lacrosse team took second place in the nation, falling only to top-seeded Brigham Young University in the championship game.
Ten players on the Ducks' team hail from Lakeridge and Lake Oswego and that conglomerate has been crucial, perhaps even essential to its team's success.
Even that may be a bit of an understatement. In one victory this season, every goal and assist was tallied by a former Lakeridge or Lake Oswego player. With that statistic in mind, it is safe to say that the programs breed success.
The third-ranked Ducks fell in the championship game 16-9 to a stellar squad from BYU but, even though it ended with a loss, the season was a huge success for the program.
In the championship game, former Laker Clay Knope gave his team an early lead, scooping up a loose ball and scoring 40 seconds into the contest. But BYU then scored four straight goals and never relinquished the lead.
Lakeridge's Cody Aldrich and Justin Blackmore and Trevor Tresar all had goals in the contest but it wasn't enough to overcome the Cougars.
The team's semifinal game may have been the highlight of its season.
The Ducks took on second-seeded Colorado State University and rallied from a 7-2 deficit to force overtime and eventually record the upset. It marked the second time in the season that Oregon had topped a tough Rams squad.
Trailing 3-0, Laker graduate Ryan Warren notched the Ducks' first goal and Aldrich scored Oregon's second tally, but Colorado State continued to dominate.
The Ducks then went on a season-saving run, outscoring the favored Rams 6-1 for the remainder of regulation. With just over three minutes to play in the game, Knope came around from behind the net and scored in mid-air.
In overtime, Lakeridge graduate Scott Miller won the opening face-off and it proved to be one of the most pivotal plays of the game. The Ducks took advantage and never let the Rams see the ball again.
Aldrich made a move from behind the net and fired the game-winning goal, setting of a celebration and propelling Oregon into the championship game.
All nine of the team's goals in that game and the assists that went with them, were recorded by Lakeridge or Lake Oswego graduates, a truly phenomenal feat.
The lacrosse programs at both Lakeridge and Lake Oswego have attracted some of the city's best teenage athletes, moreso in recent years than ever before.
Players who excel in other sports and who have grown up playing soccer, football or baseball for years, have shown a tendency to take to lacrosse with ease, something that speaks volumes about coaches Curt Sheinin (of Lakeridge) and Peter Lamb (Lake Oswego).
Cole Magnuson, Josh Schane, Bret Retallick and James Tarlow, all athletes who were feared on the lacrosse field during their high school days, also contributed in enormous ways to the Ducks' squad.