By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Down 7-3 during the third quarter, the McNary Boys Lacrosse team turned to their defensive strength to get back into the game against West Albany Friday night. Taking away lanes the Bulldogs were using and creating offensive opportunities as they began to chip away at the deficit.
Eventually tying the game at eight and forcing overtime where the Celtics took advantage of the Bulldogs backup goalie being in due to an overtime penalty on their starter with Roman Burrus hitting a bouncer to the left-corner to send McNary to the North Valley Conference Championship Title Game Monday against West Salem.
“I saw that Top Left corner bouncer and I go with my coach’s pointers and he always wants me to shoot bouncers because that’s the best percentage of the shots that go in. I had faith in what he coaches in us and takes whatever it gives,” Burrus describes the shot. “We worked as a team and got a good speech going and we all wanted it. We all came together and won it.”
Across the bridge, the North Valley Conference juggernaut West Salem Titan Lacrosse team will defend its Title once more this next week following their 17-4 win over Corvallis Friday night in the NVC League Playoff Semi-Finals.
Setting the tone from the start, leading 5-1 after the first quarter and 13-2 by the halftime break West Salem got the running clock going with their first goal of the third quarter as they now turn their focus to McNary Monday for the North Valley Conference Championship and the top-seed from the Conference going into the postseason at West Salem High School.
The offense was rolling and JT Silldorff played soundly in goal, making nine saves in the process with six coming in the second quarter.
“It was a lot better than our last performance against Corvallis. We came out with a whole lot better mindset than last time, our team was a lot more fired up than last time,” Silldorff said. “We just came out dead (last time) and we’ve had a really up-and-down season coming out like that, but this game we really came out a lot better than last game. It taught us not to look down on any team, which we’ve been guilty of this season.”
The McNary-West Salem match-up is a rematch of last years League Championship Game at McNary where the Titans won in Double Overtime to clinch the league title on the road as the two teams meet up again this year.
.Photos By Jeremy McDonald