LAX team winds up regular season
Last updated 5/18/2022 at Noon
The Outlaws lost their final two league games this past week: a heartbreaking 4-7 loss to Ridgeview on Tuesday, May 10, and at home three days later a 0-15 loss to Summit, the No. 6 ranked team in the state. The game against the Storm was a makeup game from earlier in the season that had to be postponed due to illness on the Outlaws’ squad.
Prior to the game against Ridgeview on Tuesday the Outlaws honored their 13 seniors, including Sean Alvarez, Gavin Christian, Austin Ekern, Gaven Henry, Ricky Huffman, Charlie Irish, Eli Johnson, Wyatt Maffey, Max Palanuk, Tanner Pease, Oscar Rhett, Riley Sellers, and AJ Scholl.
Coach Patton said, “That’s an unusually large number of seniors on a team; in fact, it is about half of our roster. I have to commend these boys for sticking with the sport, especially in light of the difficulties they endured related to the COVID pandemic.”
Sisters played a JV game prior to the varsity match, and the team, made up of the 14 non-varsity seniors, cruised to an 18-1 victory.
Patton noted that, while it was good for the younger players to get time on the field, as well as a big win, it left the Outlaws a little short-handed in the varsity game. Rules limit a player to six quarters on any given day, and so the boys who played four quarters in the JV game could only play two in the varsity contest.
The starting roster for the varsity game was entirely seniors, with the exception of junior goalie Justin Blake. Sisters beat Ridgeview 8-4 earlier in the season, and Patton said that the Outlaws were perhaps a little over-confident going into the game.
The Outlaws got off to a slow start that put them in a 0-2 hole at the end of the first quarter. Sisters picked it up a bit in the second period with a goal from Ricky Huffman and Gus Patton, but unfortunately they allowed the Ravens to score three times and at the half trailed 2-5.
“Most of our struggles in the first half related to not being able to keep control of the ball,” said Patton. “We’d get a defensive stop, but then turn the ball over trying to clear it to the offensive end. Or, we’d get the ball on offense and then take a low percentage shot against a very good Ridgeview goalie that would give them back the ball.”
Sisters regrouped at the half and got goals from Wyatt Maffey and Gaven Henry in the third quarter and pulled to within one goal with a score of 4-5.
Patton said, “It looked like we might be on track for a comeback. But, we let our frustrations get the better of us and some untimely penalties put us down players on the field and allowed them a man-up goal and a 6-4 lead going into the fourth quarter.”
Sisters’ undisciplined play continued in the final period, and time in the penalty box made it possible for the Ravens to widen their lead to three goals, and hold Sisters scoreless. The Outlaws weren’t able to find an offensive solution to Ridgeview’s defense and stellar goalie play, and the Ravens walked off the field with the win.
“It was a disappointing loss, and an unfortunate outcome for the team and for our seniors in particular,” said Patton. “After the game we talked about what lessons we could take from the experience and reflected on how we might prepare better in practice in the future, and the importance of focusing on doing our best and not making excuses or putting blame on others.”
Three days later the Outlaws were pummeled by Summit. The Storm, which is a much bigger school, was bigger, stronger, very athletic, and most of the players on their squad have played club lacrosse since grade school.
The Storm controlled the ball for most of the game, which made it very hard for the Outlaws to get an opportunity to score. In fact, Sisters only got off seven shots the entire game.
Patton said that goalie Justin Blake had a strong game despite the score, and finished with 16 saves. Mason Sellers stepped up into the face-off position and led the team with eight ground balls. Adam Maddox-Castle and Wyatt Maffey finished with six and five ground balls, respectively.
Sisters was short six players for various reasons, including two defensive starters and one attack man. Patton told The Nugget that the boys played hard and used the stiff competition as an opportunity to improve their individual skills and teamwork.
The Outlaws are fairly certain they will get a Cascade Cup playoff game Thursday or Friday, May 19 or 20. The Cascade Cup is a second-tier post-season tournament for the 16 next-highest-ranked teams after the top 24 teams that make the championship playoffs. Sisters is currently ranked 36th, and the 25th through 40th ranked teams get in.