Cougars dominated the Olympians 13-1 on Monday, April 2, then defeated three other standout teams

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Senior Zackary Bailey winds up to take a shot on Sprague's goal. The Cougars defeated the Olympians 13-1 on April 2. Canby—The lacrosse team's season is off to a solid start. The boys recently moved to 3-0 after a dominant 13-1 over the visiting Sprague Olympians on Monday, April 2. It was an impressive display, but coach Jake McDonald is not looking to rest on the team's most recent achievement. There is still an arduous week of play to go.

On Wednesday, April 4 the Cougars defend home field once more against the visiting Tigard Tigers (3-1); on Friday, April 6 the second of three home games takes place against the Liberty Falcons (4-0); and on Saturday, April 7 the Cougars finish their busy week with a showdown against the Hood River Valley Eagles (3-0).

It should be tough, but if the team clicks like they did against Sprague, it should be Canby's game to lose. According to McDonald, the team did not look its best in the first half, but managed to outscore the Olympians 4-1 in the opening 24 minutes.

"In the first half we played like we had just gotten back from Spring Break," McDonald said. "Still, we dominated possession the whole game. Sprague was not good defensively, and we took advantage of that."

In the first half of play, junior Connor Saltmarsh put two goals into the net early to give Canby a lead from the outset. That lead doubled over the course of the first half, when goals from sophomore Ronan Gay and senior Zakary Bailey were added to the tally.

"Connor played really well, but we need him to be more selfish," McDonald said. "He's more of a passer, but he can shoot the ball too. Same thing with Ronan Gay."

Couple the offensive capabilities that the team displayed, especially in a big second half, with the solid defense of senior keeper and potential all-state player Garrett Netter, and you have a recipe for success. Still, McDonald knows that greater challenges lie around the corner.

"We've got a tough week ahead of us, and there are some tough teams in our league," McDonald said. "The Lake Oswego teams will be strong. Overall, for us to continue having success, we'll need to stop being so selfish and play better team ball. If we do that, we take it one game a time and we'll be successful."

Canby followed up that impressive win with a solid comeback win over Tigard. The Cougars defeated the Tigers 8-7 on Wednesday, April 4. The win is more impressive considering that Canby was down 7-3 heading into the fourth quarter.

For goalie Garrett Netter, the win was about cementing the teams place among the best in not just the league, but all of Oregon. Netter saved 10 of 17 Tigard shots on goal, including five in the last three minutes of play.

"We were down, but we're number one in the state, and we played like it," Netter said. "We wanted to stay number one. That's all there was to it."

Kyler Boyd, one of the offensive talents for the Cougars, was the one that put the game away for Canby. Boyd had four goals on the night, which is even more impressive considering he took only six shots. The game winner came when Ronan Gay hit the crossbar of the goal, and Boyd swatted the ensuing ricochet in.

"We shut up and went into halftime with our heads down, knowing we should've been playing better than that," Boyd said. "We played our hearts out tonight, I'm proud of this team."

On Friday, April 6, Canby hung tough to win another close game 11-10 against the visiting Liberty Falcons. In an impressive showing, freshman Noah Hansen won 18 of 23 face-offs for the Cougars, and helped propel the team past the previously unbeaten opposing team.

"I'm just glad we won," Hansen said. "That's all I really have to say."

Finally, rounding out a week of dominance for Canby lacrosse, the team hosted Hood River on Saturday, April 7 and soundly defeated the Eagles 11-2.

Canby has a 6-0 record, and is second in the Three Rivers League behind Lakeridge (7-2). Canby's next match will be on the road against West Salem (3-4) on Tuesday, April 10 after the Herald goes to press.

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