By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– At one point in West Salem Lacrosse’s 11-4 win, McNary had just pulled the game back to within two.
It was 6-4 at the point a minute into the third quarter, the three-goal rally coming on the heels of the Titans jumping out to a 5-1 lead early on in the opening half Saturday afternoon after Jameson Proulx’s goal.
“It was a lot of hope. We came in wanting to do as good as we can, we were a bit out of shape. I’m not too upset with how the game ended” said Proulx. “They start slipping away, they’re a good team. I’m not worried about that happening and we’ll do better next time.
“But it felt good to at least get it into those two points.”
West Salem, frustrated with how the tide of momentum was turning against them, settled down. Closed off passing and shooting lanes, and looked like vintage Titans Lacrosse as they shut down the Celtics following the goal.
Their offense was giving McNary goalie Dalton Ayers all he could get. Ayers stepped up to the challenge with West Salem slowly pulling away during the second half of the third quarter into the fourth.
“I think we are decent. We could’ve done better, we could’ve slided a lot harder. We could’ve done better, it’s all technique and it’ll come with time, we’re a really young team,” said Ayers.
“We were putting shots on goal and their goalie really had a really great, outstanding game,” said the Titans Ben Zuk. “I think we asked the (stats table)…I think we had 58 shots, but we weren’t putting them on net or (Ayers) was getting saves. We just needed to keep it up to get the score up.”
Zuk and Mason Murray each had three-goal hat-tricks in the win, keeping West Salem in tow with West Albany entering their meeting on Tuesday in Albany. Both teams are undefeated and could ultimately decide the North Valley League Championship with both teams currently undefeated.
The match-up Tuesday is the Bulldogs last league game while the Titans have two more left in the hunt for another league title.
“That’s it. That’s the big game,” Zuk said of West Albany. “We’re undefeated and we’re really hoping to keep it up. We’ve had really great energy as a team and we hope to just bring that out.”
That game is scheduled for 7:30pm. McNary will host Sprague Tuesday at 7pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald