By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Saturday’s game was damn near forgettable for the West Salem Lacrosse team for a laundry list worth of reasons.
Monday’s practice was damn near the polar opposite as they had one of their most productive practices of the season and had carried that over to Tuesday’s game versus Mountain View.
For most of the season, the first half hasn’t been the best for the Titans as the second half was; but that all changed versus the Cougars as they quickly neutralized Mountain View’s offense early in the first quarter and eventually converted it to three goals over a two-minute span for a 3-0 lead entering the second quarter.
Denver Bogat scored one of his two goals of the game early in the second quarter as their defense held the Cougs offense just to one first-half goal as West lead 4-1 by the halftime break.
“It was really nice cause against some of these better teams we’ve relied on our defense a little too much and by the end of the game, it wears us down,” said Bogat on the “So it was good to possess the ball and get some early goals, take control of the game.”
This rounded team effort continued into the second half with Garrett Davis scoring following the Titans recovering a bad pass that set up the 5-1 goal.
Mountain View started to bring the pressure offensively as Summit and Sprague similarity did in prior games down 7-1 in the second half of the third quarter, but the buzzsaw of Justin Morales, John Holmes and company weren’t going to let the Cougars back into the game.
Oh no, they were going to make Mountain View work for the two second-half goals they did get as they weren’t going to let another Bend team, or another team in general, beat them on home turf.
“We as a defense just came together,” said Morales. “We talked about it a little bit, figure out the adjustments and stayed strong, we were never scared. We knew what we were capable of and just kept playing.
Kolby Cooper put the icing on the figurative cake that was a 8-3 victory Tuesday night to snap what seemed like a forever losing streak that was one game.
They achieved their defensive goal
“Well, we felt like we let one get away from us with Summit the other night and part of that was because we got impatient, and had a tough time clearing and that wasn’t because of impatience,” starts Head Coach Sean Litrakis. So we had an amazing practice last night, maybe the best of the year and the guys are really fired up to finish the season and what we did work on was spacing and patience and just taking control of the game and playing our game and that’s what we exactly did from the get-go tonight.
“We didn’t force it, we didn’t rush it and we played really relaxed and it really showed. The guys were really poised and they’re really ready to move forward with the season.”
And with how they performed Tuesday at home, it looked as if the loss versus the Storm acted as gasoline on fire for West Salem with McNary coming to town Friday night on the Black Turf.
“It was great, it was one of the best, whole games we’ve played as a team, so that looks good and I think we have a good future for the rest of the season,” said Bogat of the win Tuesday as they look ahead to Friday.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald