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The Canby Cougar lacrosse team’s week started and ended in polar opposite positions. On Monday, after a win over Oregon City, the Cougars stormed the field after winning their first Three Rivers League game of the year.
Just four days later, it was the Clackamas Cavaliers rushing the Canby field after taking down the Cougars on senior night.
The week started with Canby (7-10, 1-8 TRL) in a win-or-go-home position — thanks to an extremely strong nonleague showing, Canby sits right on the edge of playoff position. An opening-week win over Oregon City (8-7, 2-7 TRL) would help them greatly in their quest for the playoffs.
The game was dominated by Tyler Konold, who took over for the Cougars right from the opening face-off. The sophomore scored four minutes into the game, the first of five goals on the day. After goals from Cam Lee and Gavin Boyer, the Cougars took a 4-1 lead into the second quarter.
Konold would score twice in the second, once from the top of the box from Silas Wood, and another on an unassisted dodge. While Oregon City stayed within range, the Cougars’ aggressiveness caught the eye of coach Trey Bellmore.
“It’s a testament to how much the kids have bought in all season long,” Bellmore told the Current. “They just continue to work.”
When the Pioneers cut the lead down to 8-6 midway through third on a goal by Brandon Phillips, the team did not stay down.
Instead, it was Konold again who swung the momentum back Canby’s way, scoring a shot from the top of the box yet again, this time sliding one past the defense while falling. Through the first three quarters, Konold had five goals on five shots.
“Tyler is a workhorse,” Bellmore said. “You can tell he’s a competitor and he loves to compete, and that energy reflects off of him to other players.”
Cam Lee’s third goal of the day with 7:47 remaining extended the Cougar lead to 11-7 and put the game out of reach. Though the Pioneers tried in vain to mount a last-quarter comeback, strong defense and goaltending from Logan Corley let Canby hang on to an 11-9 win, the first TRL win for Bellmore as a coach.
With one win complete on the week, Canby’s Senior Night featured yet another intensely important match against the Clackamas Cavaliers (3-11, 2-7 TRL). The Cavs had picked up a 4-7 win over the Cougars earlier in the year. A win for Bellmore’s club would likely advance them to the playoffs.
Once again, the Cougars exploded out of the gate. After a Landon Sprague goal, it was back to the usual suspects in Lee and Konold controlling the offense for the Cougars.
When Konold fought past a Clackamas slashing penalty and scored an unassisted goal with 1:10 left, Canby led 4-2 had — matching the previous matchup’s goal total.
From there, though, the game would develop into one of runs. The Cavaliers scored four straight goals to start the second quarter to grab a 6-4 lead before Will English scored two straight, both off of assists from Cam Lee. A topsy turvy first half saw the teams enter halftime knotted, 6-6.
Following halftime, Clackamas started out with another run, scoring three straight goals for the second time of the game to lead 9-6. But once again, the Cougars fought back.
After a Konold goal, Cam Lee made sure that his senior night was one to remember. Lee scored three straight goals to grasp a 10-9 lead and wrestle back control. After trailing, Canby rattled off three goals in 20 seconds.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, their comeback appetite wore thin in the final quarter. Clackamas outscored the home Cougs 3-0, including a backbreaker by Brody Jones with three minutes left. Try as they might, the Cougar offense fell silent, losing 10-12 and dropping back in the playoff hunt.
With their postseason lives uncertain, the Cougars will have at least one more chance to change the tide with a game at West Linn this Monday.
“Best case is that we can spoil their senior night,” Bellmore said. “But I just want us to finish the regular season strong.”
The game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.
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