The Cougars defeated the West Salem Titans 12-6 in a rematch, will face Glencoe in the second round

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Aaron Kromer was one of several Canby Cougars to score against West Salem in the opening round of the state playoffs. Canby—It was a first for the Cougars on Friday, May 18. The lacrosse team nabbed its first playoff victory in the school's history over the visiting West Salem Titans 12-6 after 48 minutes of play.

The game was a rematch. Canby won the first contest way back on Tuesday, April 10 by a margin of 13-2. With this second victory, Canby now extends its record to 11-7. West Salem falls to 10-9.

"We're feeling good," Canby head coach Jake McDonald said. "That's the first playoff win ever in Canby history. That's a good feeling."

Canby started things off on the right foot. After two goals got them up early in the first quarter, the Cougars continued to apply the pressure. Sophomore Ronan Gay picked up a goal at 7:26 of the first quarter. He was followed shortly thereafter by Zak Bailey who scored unassisted at 6:46. It was all one way traffic at this point, and with just under two minutes to go in the quarter, Canby picked up its fifth straight goal.

West Salem answered though, putting the ball past back up keeper Tyler Gile at 1:23 of the first. Gile was stepping in for starting senior Garrett Netter, who broke his foot in practice the night before the game.

"I wasn't even at practice yesterday, I was sick," McDonald said. "Garrett texts me saying that he hurt his foot, and Konnen (Bell) our assistant coach sent me a picture of his foot all swollen up and I knew then it wasn't good."

Despite missing Netter in front of the net, the Cougars still managed to hold the West Salem defense off. Gile had several good saves in the first half, although he was subbed off at the half with a shoulder injury. In stepped Colby Damgaard, who also did well in the net.

"Both guys were really even at JV this year," McDonald said. "Both have their weaknesses and advantages, one is good high, and one is good low."

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Zach Pilorget contributed goals to the Canby cause as they stopped West Salem 12-6. West Salem would gather momentum towards the midway point of the game. A little more than four minutes into the second half, the Titans snuck a goal past Gile to make the score 5-2. Middie Aaron Kromer answered quickly, scoring at 6:41 of the second quarter.

A few minutes later, the ball was battled about on West Salem turf before being snagged and scored by Bailey at the 3:16 mark. Zach Pilorget was credited with the assist.

But the momentum was still on West Salem's side. The Titan sscored back to back goals, closing out the first half and starting the second with points. It was 7-4 at the 5:35 mark of the third quarter.

Canby struggled offensively to find the net in the third quarter, only getting a late goal at the two minute mark courtesy of Pilorget. By the start of the fourth quarter, it was 8-4 for the home team.

"We played a really good first quarter, and then we got really lazy in the second, third, and fourth," McDonald said. "It was closer than it should have been, but as a team they had a lot on the line."

Starting off the fourth quarter, West Salem scored two goals back to back, cutting Canby's lead to just two. The Cougars answered as Ronan Gay dumped the ball off to Colby Shorter who got the goal at 9:29 of the final stanza.

Pilorget got the 10th goal of the night, after calmly making his way around the back of the net, and getting the goal up close at 5:27 of the quarter.

Canby scored twice more, with Kromer and Kyler Boyd getting the final goals of the game. With the 12-6 win, Canby will move on to face Glencoe (16-3) in the next round of the playoffs.

"If we can take care of the ball, possess, and win a few faceoffs, I think we'll be in a really good position to beat Glencoe," McDonald said. "Glencoe are snipers, they'll shoot from anywhere. High, low, 15, 20 yards out, they love it. They don't do a lot on the crease, a lot of it is far and hard."

"The guys are pumped," McDonald added. "The seniors have been playing in the playoffs for three years, and they got beat by Tigard last year, and the year before that they won the Cascade Cup. That's big for them. I take pride in it. We finished top 11 in the state this year. Offensively we weren't as good as we should have been, but that's a lot of new bodies and injuries coming in and out through the season. Hopefully we can pull an upset off against Glencoe and roll with what we've got."

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