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By René Ferrán 

This week, SBLive Oregon will be highlighting several of the top girls lacrosse players in the state. Here is Part 5 of our list. (Read Part 1 here and read Part 2 here and read Part 3 here and read Part 4 here.) 

Our list was created based on nominations made by Oregon high school lacrosse coaches. All statistics are as of early May.

Photo by Ben Ludeman

A Lila Skates, Sr., West Linn

The West Chester (Pa.) commit has a knack for finding the right option on the attack, with her 29 assists ranking No. 2 in the OGLA to go with her 25 goals, 31 ground balls won and 11 forced turnovers. “Lila has been a great leader for this team the past two years,” coach Rebecka Wachtel said. “She’s a great threat on the attacking end and pushes the offense forward.” 

D Brianna Smith, Sr., Mountainside

Smith has become the leader of a defensive unit that allowed a stingy 5.5 goals per game during a 12-0 start. She has 24 ground balls won and seven forced turnovers. “Brianna came to lacrosse from soccer as a freshman, and now as a senior, she is one of our top defenders,” Mavericks coach Jason Lines said. “She has the ability to drive opposing teams away from the goal and has outstanding off-ball defense.”

D Lauren Smith, Sr., Lake Oswego

Whether it’s leading one of the OGLA’s top defenses or belting out her rendition of Cups from Pitch Perfect, Smith is sneaky good. She’s an extremely fast defender who has won 13 ground balls and chipped in two goals and three assists in the attack. Smith plans to play club lacrosse at Oregon next season. “She has great field vision and will do anything and everything if she could to support her teammates,” coach Lauren Anderson said. “She is not afraid to ask questions about how the defense can be a stronger unit.”

A Chase Spiekerman, So., Lakeridge

Spiekerman is easy to spot on the field with the big knee braces she wears — the result of 15 knee dislocations she’s suffered over the years, including four during lacrosse games. She’s also making a name for herself with her play on the field, with 17 goals (.810 shot percentage) and a team-high 10 assists for the Pacers. “Chase sees the field really well, plays smart and has a high lacrosse IQ,” coach Danielle Kirby said. “She has quick decision-making skills, especially in competitive games.”

G Abby Steger, Jr., Sherwood

Bowmen coach Mark Flint called Steger “one of the strongest goalkeepers we’ve had here in Sherwood,” and in her first five games this spring, she posted a 10.67 goals against average and .385 save percentage.

M Alli Stilp, Sr., Newberg

Stilp bounces between track practice (she was second at the Pacific district meet last spring in the triple jump) and lacrosse, where she played a critical role in the Tigers’ 6-2 start with 23 goals (.719 shot percentage), eight assists, 33 draw controls won, 15 ground balls won and 13 turnovers caused. “Alli has killer instincts and the mindset of a top athlete,” coach Mikaela Easterlin said. “She has been a huge asset to our team all the years she has played and will certainly leave behind a legacy.”

D Lusi Tapasa, Sr., Tualatin

Tapasa has signed with Dominican University in California to join the Penguins for their debut season in 2023. She has been a top defender the past few seasons, leading the Timberwolves this spring with 19 ground balls won and 12 turnovers caused in eight games while also chipping in three goals and two assists. “Lusi has been our defense’s backbone through her physical play, lockdown 1v1 defense and communication,” coach Lois Ray said. “Her lacrosse IQ all over the field makes her easy to coach and allows her to direct her teammates on the field.”

G Aliyah Tenney, Jr., South Eugene

Tenney started 7-1 in net for the Axe, allowing just 7.72 goals per game (seventh-best in the OGLA). Coach Sara Long calls her “a natural-born leader who continues to keep me on my toes. Her competitiveness is unmatchable.”

A Sasha Thayer, Sr., McNary

Thayer broke the school record for single-game goals, scoring 10 in a March 28 game against Hillsboro. For the season, the George Fox commit and future nurse has 23 goals and 24 ground balls won. Celtics coach Becca LaFramboise said Thayer’s ability on the field comes from two factors. “First, she puts in the work,” LaFramboise said. “She is ready to learn and practice at 100% effort at all times. The second reason is that she is a great leader who leads by example, and the other players naturally look to her for guidance.”

M Eva Thomsen-Marr, So., Lincoln

Thomsen-Marr complements senior teammate Anna Whitworth well, both as an offensive force (30 goals, team-high 16 assists) but also as a brick wall on defense, with a team-high 20 turnovers caused, 31 draw controls and 17 ground balls won. Cardinals coach Alex Stendahl called Thomsen-Marr “a ferocious attacker with a killer crease roll, but also incredibly humble and a dream to coach. She’s already one of the most skilled players on the team, but she is always looking for the next thing to learn.”

D Hanna Tran, Sr., Sherwood

Tran has anchored the Bowmen defense the past couple of seasons. She led the team in ground balls won (11) and forced turnovers (nine) in their first five games. She plans to join the University of Oregon’s club team in the fall. “I’ve seen Hanna cause a turnover and take the ball downfield, finishing with a strong shot and goal more than once in her four years here,” coach Mark Flint said.

M Lilah Turley, Fr., Lake Oswego

With as much firepower as the Lakers possess on offense, they need someone to get the ball to them, and that is where Turley has carved a role for herself this spring, serving as the team’s primary faceoff specialist with a team-high 40 draw controls won to go with eight goals, 16 ground balls won and 10 turnovers caused. Coach Lauren Anderson describes her as “a literal ball magnet. Despite being so young, she has one of the best lacrosse IQs on our team. She knows where to be before a play happens and is stellar at anticipating passes to intercept.”

M/FOGO Moira Turpen, So., Newberg

Turpen propelled the Tigers to a 6-2 start this spring, leading the team with 33 goals (.532 shot percentage) to go with 42 draw controls won, 20 ground balls won and 16 turnovers caused. Coach Mikaela Easterlin marvels at how an athlete as skilled as Turpen constantly trips over her own feet, but once on the field, “Moira has a very high lacrosse IQ and knows instinctively when to keep pushing through or when to pull back. She is a key piece of our draws and offense, but she will also always stop to help other teammates be successful.”

A Amelia Ulmer, Sr., Oregon Episcopal

Ulmer looks to play lacrosse next season at Claremont College in Southern California, and she’ll take an impressive resume with her. She leads the Aardvarks in scoring with 33 goals and 27 assists, and she’s also solid on defense (15 ground balls won). “She has tremendous field vision and an extremely high lacrosse IQ,” coach Shawn Patrick said. “She is wonderfully coachable and able to make in-game adjustments, taking every nugget of advice to improve her play.”

D Juliette Van Houten, Sr., South Eugene

Van Houten has committed to play for Division III Simmons University in Boston next fall. She is a stalwart defender who leads a backline that allows fewer than nine goals per game, with her 13 forced turnovers second only to Olivia Allen on the team to go with 16 ground balls won. “She is known for being competitive but compassionate,” Axe coach Sara Long said. “She is always there to learn and grow to be the best version of herself.”

D Bailey Waddell, Sr., Wilsonville

Waddell is a first-team all-Three Rivers selection who committed to play at Grand Canyon University next year. She ranks among the team leaders in ground balls won (22) and turnovers caused (17), showing the ropes for junior Lidya Harms and sophomore Lily Glos alongside her. “Bailey returned this year even stronger and has become our shutdown defender, drawing the best offensive players in the state,” coach Mark Waddell said.

M Cailin Walker, Sr., Cleveland

Walker has been the catalyst for the Warriors offense this season, with her 48 goals (.696 shot percentage) ranking eighth among OGLA leaders to go with 13 assists, 53 draw controls won, 38 ground balls and 11 turnovers caused. She has committed to the University of Redlands to play collegiately.

M/A Brooklyn Wehr, Sr., South Eugene

Wehr possesses an accurate shot, posting a .680 shot percentage and scoring 17 goals, third-most on the team. “Brooklyn always makes the unexpected shot,” Axe coach Sara Long said. “She makes the unexpected possible and is a reliable source for teammates. After such a short amount of time, Brooklyn has grown exponentially as a lacrosse player.”

A Ava Whiteford, Jr., Grant

Whiteford has given up some of the scoring load she carried in the past with the emergence of freshman Kate Ratanaproeksa and sophomore Erin McDevitt, but the junior still has put up solid numbers this spring — 26 goals, 20 ground balls won and a team-high 15 turnovers caused. “Ava is always setting the prime example for her teammates,” coach Yecenia Arrezola said. “She always holds herself and her teammates accountable.”

M Anna Whitworth, Sr., Lincoln

Whitworth, an Amherst College commit, was the driving force to the Cardinals’ 6-2 start to the season (5-1 in Portland League play), leading the team with 36 goals to go with 22 ground balls and 50 draw controls won. “Anna is an unstoppable force all over the field,” coach Alex Stendahl said. “She has a high shot that makes you shake your head in disbelief and unbeatable defense. Anna is also an incredible team leader and sets the tone during games and at practice with her work ethic.”

G Kennedy Willig, Sr., Tualatin

Willig has sacrificed a few teeth (three or four by her estimation) for her sport, and this year, she’s been a stalwart in goal, ranking fifth in the state among goalies (minimum 300 minutes played) by allowing just 7.14 goals per game with a .429 save percentage. “As a goalie, she does it all with saves, caused turnovers and composure on clears,” Timberwolves coach Lois Ray said. “In addition, she has been a big playmaker for us, and her communication helps organize the team on the entire field, defense to attack.”

A Hannah Wold, Jr., Mountainside

Wold is a multifaceted multisport athlete who spearheads the Mavericks’ attack. She leads the team with 43 ground balls won (sixth-best in the OGLA), is second in draw controls (49), caused turnovers (16) and goals (26, with a .703 shot percentage), and ranks third with 15 assists. “Hannah is a leader on the field, with a high level of understanding of the game,” coach Jason Lines said. “While she is a prolific scorer, she shows incredible versatility as a defender as well.”    

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4