Gator Haken scores vs. Forest Grove. photo by Jerry Baldock
Gator Haken scores vs. Forest Grove. photo by Jerry Baldock
The boys lacrosse team split their games this past week; a 16-1 loss at Bend on Thursday, and a 10-5 win at home against Forest Grove (FG) on Saturday.

On Thursday, the Outlaws faced a very experienced Bend squad, and were once again short-handed with only 16 of their 23 players able to make the road trip. The Lava Bears are a very good team, ranked in the top 10 in the state, and controlled the ball for most of the game.

Max Palanuk scored the Outlaws’ lone goal off a feed from Jaxon Berry, who made a nice catch off a long outlet pass. Matt Harris had a strong defensive game with six ground balls, and Riley Sellers battled for the faceoffs and scooped up four ground balls.

Anthony Randolph had a strong game in the goal despite the high score. He faced 51 shots and made eight saves. Titan Kroytz also played a good game, and was a steady presence for the Outlaws on defense.

Coach Paul Patton said, “We spent a lot of time playing defense, and only got off 12 shots on the offensive end, but the boys played hard and continued to improve. The experience that our younger players are getting against veteran teams is forcing them to get better fast, and will certainly benefit us next year.”

On Saturday, the Outlaws played on the football practice field behind the high school because of the District track meet at Reed Stadium. Matt Harris and Trey Stadeli, the Outlaws’ two seniors, were honored prior to the game.

“These two have been solid contributors to the varsity team for the last four years,” said Coach Paul Patton. “Both have put a lot of time into the game of lacrosse and have been strong leaders as the captains.”

Sisters quickly got on the scoreboard and never looked back. They led the entire game and were up 5-3 at the half. The Outlaws outscored FG 5-2 in the final half and recorded the win.

Haken led the team with five goals and three assists, despite dealing with some nagging injuries. Stadeli scored four goals and had three assists, and Tanner Pease scored one goal.

Evan Palmer had a solid game at middie, ran the field well, and got off three shots. Randolph had another good game in the goal. Anthony let a couple of goals slip by early in the game, but quickly settled down and made some good saves. He ended up with nine saves on 31 shots by Forest Grove.

Patton told The Nugget that even though the Outlaws prevailed on the scoreboard, FG controlled the ball for much of the game.

“Much of their control was because they out-groundballed us 39-29,” said Patton. “The game also got a little rough and we ended up spending too much time in the penalty box. So, we need to clean that up and control our sticks and our emotions a little better. Despite that, the boys played hard and did many things well. I thought we were patient on offense and did a good job of moving the ball around to get good shots.”

The win was a nice end to the Outlaws’ season, which ended with five wins and seven losses. Patton told The Nugget their record is pretty good considering their roster was made up of primarily freshmen. The few veteran players were a steadying influence on the field, and led by example.

After the game was over, the Outlaws hosted a barbecue for both teams and their supporters. Outlaws players, coaches, and parents worked to set up, prepare, serve food, and take care of the cleanup afterward.

Patton expects 20 players will return next year with varsity experience, and stated that a good- sized and talented bunch will be coming in as freshmen.

“It will be important that the boys continue to train to become stronger and more athletic,” said Patton. “We will also need to keep playing pickup games together in the off-season to sharpen our stick skills and improve our teamwork. I’m excited about the future. This is a fun bunch of boys, and it’s a pleasure to coach them.”