On Thursday night, the OES men’s lacrosse team played their final game of the 2021 season in a grueling knockout game against Tigard High School.
“Do you know how how to boil a frog, Luke?” A couple of months ago, as I was taking off my cleats after soccer practice, Dennis Sullivan walked past me as he was talking with Luke M. ‘21, who would be captaining the 2021 team. What I overheard stuck with me. “That’s what we’re doing this year. We’re boiling a frog.”
I had to look up what this meant and sure enough, it’s a thing. Boiling a frog has to be done in a very specific way. The water must be cold to start off with and the burners must be gradually turned up over time. Too hot off the get-go and the frog will leap away to safety, but if its environment begins to heat up slowly, it won’t be able to notice the temperature change and can be cooked. This philosophy is what the coaches and captains brought forward to the team this year.
When talking with captain, Luke M. ‘21, another theme I discover he set for his team this year was to constantly be looking forward. “We don’t really like to focus on the past,” Luke said, after forgoing a questioning about who their toughest opponent is. There were sure to be ups and downs this season, so the best thing to do was keep on moving forward. As this past week matured, all eyes were set on Thursday’s game versus Tigard.
The first playoff game offered an opportunity to prove a point. “We really want to see how we line up against some of the higher-seeded teams. We would like to prove something this year instead of just labeling it a ‘rebuilding year’,” senior midfielder Jakob W. ‘21 said. “The team has battled a lot of adversity this year, so I’d say our success was kind of a shock to some. Overall the games went well, but we would obviously like to have a few of the games back from this season as we believe that we are the better team.”
Ben R. ‘22, who head off the group’s attack along with Duncan S. ‘22 and Luke M., had some thoughts about the season. Last week, Ben reports: “We are 3-3 right now. Won our first three and lost our last three–it has been a year of growth for the whole team. We lost in overtime to Hood River which was such a close match, especially the way it went down. Losing anyone in the middle of a game hurts, but when Luke–our captain and our best player–went down after a nasty check to the back in the 3rd quarter, we really had to kick it into a higher gear. I think that made us really come together. Fighting our way back into the game, despite the result, shows that this team has a lot of grit and resilience. All there left to do is to really put it all together. Then, we should be unstoppable.”
The Tigard game was a nail-biter, as the gap in the scoreline progressively shrunk smaller. Down to the last few minutes, it looked like OES could reel them back in, but with a strong defense and a couple of quick goals off of counter-attacks, Tigard was able to hold off the fighting aardvarks long enough. The game ended 16-11 and marked the end of what had become a truly successful run. We look forward to the years to come as OES continues to find new ways to push themselves and evolve, putting together the pieces, on the way to the top once again.
P.S. Big shout out to the team’s “most lethal hidden weapon”, Alfredo ‘22. The junior goalie touted a brick-wall-like 100% save rate after stepping up against Liberty High School. He stuffed three back-to-back attempts on goal and helped the team soar to a 17-6 win. Great stuff Alfredo!