Lincoln beats Sunset in final for the third straight year
June 2, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
WILSONVILLE - Lincoln's lacrosse team chanted "dynasty" after winning their third consecutive state championship Saturday night at Wilsonville High.
While they chanted, Sunset's players looked on disheartened by yet another title game loss.
Lincoln scored four unanwered goals in the third quarter to rally from a two-goal deficit and held on for a 7-6 win, the third straight year the Cardinals have beaten the Apollos in the title game.
Two years ago, Lincoln scored in the second overtime for a 10-9 win, while last year the Cardinals overwhelmed Sunset 12-4 in the second half after the teams were tied at 6 after two quarters.
"I'd say this qualifies us as a dynasty," senior midfielder Jake Marcy said after the game. "It's a great feeling that I never want to forget."
Lincoln overcame a spirited start by Sunset, which got a goal from Cole Abdie in the first seven seconds and led 5-3 at the half, despite being outshot 26-13.
Early in the third quarter, though, Lincoln senior Grant Clifford tallied twice to tie the score and the Cardinals took advantage of several turnovers by Sunset to add another pair of goals that gave them a cushion. Sunset pulled within a goal early in the fourth quarter, but could not pressure Lincoln and finished second again.
The Apollos and Cardinals will meet in the state finals for the third straight year
May 29, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
A pair of thrilling semifinals produced a familiar result as Sunset and Lincoln emerged to face each other for the third straight year in the final of the Oregon High School Lacrosse Association championship match.
Sunset edged hard-luck Lake Oswego 4-3 in one semi, while top-ranked Lincoln beat No. 2 Lakeridge 10-8 in the other semi played at Wilsonville High School Wednesday.
Sunset will be looking to avenge losses the previous two years in the title match, while Lincoln will be looking for its fourth title in five years.
"Third time's a charm," Sunset coach Jeff Dill said. "We're looking forward to playing them."
"They've given us quite a game the past two years, so we're not overlooking them at all," Lincoln coach Will Harris said. "We know they'll be gunning for us."
Sunseet and Lincoln will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday at Wilsonville High.
Lakeridge, which has won eight state titles, lost in the semifinals for the third consecutive year, while Lake Oswego lost for the third time in four years. The Lakers, among the state's top teams for years, has not been to a championship game.
Sunset, which is still without a title since championship matches began in 1997, overcame a shaky first half and 2-0 deficit with four goals in the third quarter, including a score in the final second by senior Cole Abdie. The Lakers, who dominated the first half, but were only able to ring up two scores, were unable to overcome Sunset's tightly-packed zone defense and succumbed to a familiar fate.
Freshman Locke Rohan, who entered the game in the second quarter when senior Tony Novoa cramped up, provided the key spark for Sunset with a goal in the second minute of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Lincoln, which had dispatched to playoff opponents by a combined score of 33-5, scored four unanswered goals in the third quarter for an 8-4 lead that seemed to salt the game away, but the Pacers rallied with three-straight scores and trailed just 8-7 early in the fourth quarter when senior attacker Grant Clifford scored for Lincoln to end the run.
Clifford had four goals for the Cardinals, who also got three scores from Spencer Rotenburg.
The Cardinals beat Lakeridge 10-8 in the semifinals two years ago.
Saturday's final pits a patient, defense-minded Sunset squad against a composed, assertive Lincoln squad that will take the field with a 20-game win streak and having lost just one game to an Oregon team in the past two seasons.
Last year, the Sunset boys swim team entered the Class 6A state championships as a slight underdog to win the team race. But they did, finishing ahead of defending champion Grant, 46 years after the school’s first title.
This year, Sunset is a clear favorite to win.
The Apollos are coming off a dominant performance in the Metro League district meet and will carry that momentum into the state meet that begins Friday at Mt. Hood Community College.
Cameron Stitt, last year’s star for Sunset, will be looked upon to help carry the Apollos again.
Stitt broke a district meet record in the 500 yard freestyle and also earned All-American consideration with his win in the 200 freestyle. He posted the top qualifying times in both events for the state meet.
“Everyone’s doing really well so it’s looking good,” Stitt said after Saturday’s district finals. “If we do well we definitely have a good chance of winning it.”
Teammate Cole Hurwitz also had a stellar district meet, breaking a district record in the 100 breaststroke and placing first in the 200 individual medley.
Hurwitz edged his brother Jordan and teammate Kasey Kwong in the breaststroke, one of the team’s most competitive events in practices. “We have a lot of great breaststrokers,” he said, “so it’s always kind of a dog fight to see who gets first.
“Getting a lot of people back into state – like 1, 2 or 1, 2, 3 – in a lot of events shows we are going to have a lot of depth.”
Although the district meet proved successful for the Apollos, that doesn’t mean guaranteed success in the state event.
“We have to be smart,” said Jonathon Zoucha, a member of two of the winning relays. “Cooling down and making sure you swim fast in the prelims to make sure you make it to the finals.”
Zoucha also qualified with the third fastest time in 6A in the 500 freestyle.
Sunset was able to qualify into three relays for the state meet and coach Adam Farber pointed to that as a major key for their chance at a repeat.
“Last year we had two so that should be a big help,” Farber said.
Sunset qualified second, behind Tualatin, in the 200 medley relay and second in the 400 freestyle behind McMinnville.
After his team’s domination in the district meet, a meet they didn’t win last year entering the state finals, Farber said his team’s confidence is ready to power it to a repeat.
“We have some guys that are real strong and are going to sit at the top in anything they do,” he said. “We’re looking to do well.”
SUNSET CLAIMS METRO LEAGUE TITLE
The Sunset boys and Jesuit girls swam away with 2012 Metro 6A-1 district swimming titles on Saturday afternoon.
Sunset, the defending boys state champs, earned 435 points, nearly 100 points ahead of second place Jesuit.
Cameron Stitt and Cole Hurwitz came up big for the Apollos as each earned two individual victories and two relay victories.
Stitt took a first in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle and earned All-American consideration for both. Stitt broke the meet record in the 500 freestyle with a time, 4:32.39, more than two second faster than the previous record.
Hurwitz also broke a meet record with his first place finish in the 100 yard breaststroke. Hurwitz also took first in the 200 individual medley. Stitt and Hurwitz were both members of the 400 free and 200 medley teams that took first place finishes for Sunset.
“I felt pretty good,” Stitt said of his meet record, “but I think when state comes I'll be able to drop even more time.”
The state meet record in the 500 freestyle, set by Alex Stiles of Lincoln at 4:27.33, is the oldest one left for boys or girls having survived since 1984.
Hurwitz's response to the record was nearly the same as Stitt's. “It feels pretty good,” he said. “I was close last year so it was good to finally get it.”
Jonathan Zoucha and Jordan Hurwitz were the other two members in the winning relays for Sunset. Zoucha also earned a victory in the 100 yard free.
Max Yakubovich of Southridge swam to victories in the 100 yard backstroke and 100 yard butterfly.
Jesuit's Blaise Wittenauer-Lee was the big performer on the girls side as she helped lead the Crusaders, the defending state champions, to the team victory. Wittenauer-Lee picked up individual wins in the 500 yard freestyle and 200 IM. She was also a member of the 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay teams that picked up first place finishes.
Sunset's Lotta Novotny earned wins in the 200 and 100 freestyle.
“Excitement. It was a lot of fun to watch,” Sunset coach Adam Farber said after the meet was complete. “It was nice to see us step up and get this meet.”