CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State swept a home and away doubleheader against Washington and Idaho to move to 6-0 in PNCLL play and 9-3 overall on the year. The two wins set up a showdown against Oregon for the top seed in the PNCLL playoffs on Saturday, April 23.
“It’s what we needed to do this week," said Oregon State coach Chad Stelling. "Going 2-0 and was the main focus, and we found a way to take care of business and get some young guys additional minutes. It was a great opportunity to work on timing and doing things the Oregon State way,”
The first game of the weekend for OSU was a road test against Washington. The game was part of a “Lacrosse Weekend” hosted by Mercer Island High School.
Oregon State was able to keep a pesky Husky team, which is still fighting for the final spot in the playoffs, at bay. Oregon State’s starting defense allowed only three goals on the day, which is something they feel they can lean on come playoff time.
“We had a great time up in Seattle and were able to play a hungry team in the Huskies,” said Stelling. “We were able to work in some new guys into the rotation and our starting defense played excellent.”
OSU jumped out to an early lead highlighted by a goal from midfielder Kevin Larkin. The sophomore would tally five goals in the game to bring his total to 17 on the year. At the end of the first period the Beavers led 4-1.
Washington was able to gather some momentum early in the second quarter after the Beavers took at two-minute penalty, which allowed the Huskies to score twice bringing the score to 4-3. However, that would be the last time UW would score in the half and the Beavers rallied around their defense to take a commanding 8-3 lead into the half.
During the third quarter, senior goalie Nick Widmer and the starting defense were relieved of duty, allowing OSU to rotate some new bodies into the game. The two sides traded goals throughout the second half, but UW wasn’t able to overcome the five goal halftime deficit. The Beavers held on for a 13-8 win, and traveled home for senior day against Idaho on Sunday.
On Sunday, the OSU seniors took the field, escorted by their families, for one last home game.
The OSU seniors have been a part of a very successful four year run, which includes two PNCLL championships and a trips to the MCLA national tournament. Despite the ceremonies, the Beavers are still focused on repeating as PNCLL champions and took another step towards that goal with a 21-2 win over the University of Idaho.
“It was very surreal watching all those seniors come out today. I knew we had a large senior class, but seeing them walk out and cover nearly half the field with their parents and families was very special,” said Stelling. “Most importantly all of them contributed today, some of them got on the score sheet, some didn’t, but they all influenced the game.”
Senior Midfielder Colin Kacinski led the way with a three goal performance, bringing his season total to 20. Other seniors stepped up and contributed as well, such as James Watkins who went 3-1 on face-offs and added two goals. Midfielder Jamie Squires tallied his first goal of the season.
Next up for the Beavers is a crucial game with the Ducks, with the winner clinching the top spot in the PNCLL playoffs. The Ducks are currently ranked number 9 in the country, and many experts have them picked to represent the PNCLL in the national tournament. Stelling and the Beavers are aware of the challenge and have two weeks to prepare for their biggest rivals.
“The Civil War game is always going to be a tough one. Two quality teams, in a rivalry game with playoff implications only makes this one bigger” said Stelling. “We will continue to work hard to get our guys prepared and ready to go for what should be a great game on the 23rd“
The Beavers have a week off which will allow a few players to recover from injury ahead of the Civil War. The Beavers next take the field April 23rd against Oregon at West Linn High School.
(Photo by Bob White)