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The Canby Cougar lacrosse team continued its foray into one of the toughest leagues in the state this past week, dropping two Three Rivers League games on the road while picking up a crucial non-league game.
The Cougars (6-5, 0-3 TRL) began their week with a tough competition against the home team Lakeridge Pacers (11-2, 3-0 TRL). The Pacers, one of the hottest teams in the state, have outscored opponents 88-19 over their six-game winning streak. Try as they might, the Cougs failed to put much of a dent in that streak, losing 11-2.
Sandwiched in between their two league games was a brief stop in Hillsboro for a game against Glencoe (5-6). The Wednesday game saw the Cougars jump out early and cruise by the Crimson Tide in an easy 16-8 win. Cameron Lee was the top offensive producer for Canby on the day.
As the Cougars headed to Oregon City for their Friday matchup against the Pioneers (7-2, 1-2 TRL), they were looking to do something they had not done in three weeks — win two in a row. The Cougs have alternated wins over their last seven games, and their battle against the evenly matched Pioneers could change things.
Both teams swapped goals as the early stages remained close. Though the Pioneers capitalized on early Canby turnovers, the Cougars remained in easy striking distance. Neither team took a stranglehold on the game as it headed into overtime.
The Cougars have experienced heartbreak before. Just two weeks ago, Canby fell just short in an overtime thriller against Bend. With a chance to exorcise those demons, the fates instead chose to pile on the misery, as Oregon City snuck a goal by in the second overtime to knock out the Cougars in gutwrenching fashion for the second time in two weeks.
“O.C. was a heartbreaking game,” Cougar head coach Trey Bellmore said. “You never want to lose that game. That game showed us how little mistakes can make a huge difference.”
Despite another heartbreaker for the team in their 0-3 league start, Bellmore sees more ahead from his squad.
“Starting 0-3 in league is never fun,” Bellmore said. “We played two of the top teams and competed very well for three quarters. I think it shows what our potential is.”
The Cougars will return to action on Tuesday to face Clackamas — a TRL opponent thanks to the Oregon Lacrosse conference placements — before hosting West Linn for their first home appearance in five games. Friday’s game against the Lions is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
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