Girls lacrosse team makes fourth straight title game
The Lions overcome a slow start and a lightning delay to top Wilsonville
The West Linn girls lacrosse team survived a bit of a scare in its semifinal matchup against Wilsonville this week, falling behind 5-2 before rallying for a relatively comfortable 15-9 victory. As a result, the Lions earned a berth in the state title game once again as they look for their second championship in three years.
After lightning delayed the start of the game by an hour and a half, the Lions were slow to get into their rhythm against the Wildcats.
Wilsonville jumped on West Linn with two goals in the first five minutes and won the first three draws to control the possession early.
The Lions would bounce back with a goal from Hanna Morford on a feed by Natalie Byrne but that wasn't enough to turn the tide.
Wilsonville responded with another goal just 20 seconds later and continued to put the pressure on the Lions.
West Linn struggled with turnovers on offense and the Wildcats took advantage. After a goal by West Linn's Morgan Finklea, Wilsonville scored twice more and led 5-2 with 10:33 left in the first half.
The Wildcats appeared to extend their lead but had another goal waived off with just under five minutes to play.
That's when the Lions started to come to life. Hailey Bouchard scored just 20 seconds later and that goal was answered less than a minute later when Byrne notched her first goal.
Wilsonville simply wanted to weather the storm headed into halftime but the Lions were able to toss in the equalizer with just 10 seconds to play with a nice shot from Jenna Ittershagen. Five different players scored West Linn's first five goals in the game.
The teams traded goals to open the second half but momentum had clearly shifted in West Linn's favor. Bouchard's second score of the game gave the Lions a lead they wouldn't surrender. A goal from Lydia Van Winkle on a beautiful feed from Morford and another score from Byrne made it 10-6 but Wilsonville wasn't quite finished.
The Wildcats answered with a goal off a penalty and then scored again less than 30 seconds later but that goal was disallowed due to an illegal stick.
That would mark the end of Wilsonville's rally. Another goal by Finklea swung momentum back in the Lions' favor and West Linn would dominate the final 10 minutes of the game.
Morford and Byrne each scored twice in the closing minutes as West Linn advanced to the title game.
It was a solid victory for the Lions as the team lost more draws than the Wildcats and Wilsonville controlled ground balls as well.
The win followed a 17-4 victory over Summit in the quarterfinals. Byrne, Bouchard, Morford and Adina Mollusky all scored at least three goals while Mollusky captured six draws in the game.
The Lions advanced to their fourth consecutive state title game against Lake Oswego. The game was played Wednesday evening but results were not available at press time.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT