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by: JEFF GOODMAN / PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Tyler McDonald (1) defends during the Canby boys lacrosse team's game against Portland-Wilson in the Cascade Cup semifinals June 3. The Cougars fell 10-9 in overtime.PORTLAND — It was almost as if time had frozen.

The scoreboard’s clock had stopped with 3 minutes 26 left, signaling the segment of overtime that would be left un-played.

Members of the Canby boys lacrosse team appeared stunned. Some collapsed to the ground in disbelief, while others stared into the darkened sky. Nearly motionless for a few moments, they were left to agonize over Wilson attacker Taylor Day’s golden goal and the bitter end of their season.

But the fourth-seeded Cougars’ 10-9 loss to the top-seeded Trojans on the road June 3 in the Cascade Cup semifinals was all the more heartbreaking because of the deficit they overcame just to force the extra sudden-death period.

Trailing by five goals entering the second quarter and still down four with just 12 minutes remaining, they engineered a furious comeback despite playing on a natural surface for just the second time this year.

“We were a little sloppy at first and not used to the grass, but once we settled in and started playing our game, we were just dominating,” Canby coach Patrick Verdun said. “It was a great comeback and we had our opportunities. It was just a tough way to end it.”

The Cougars finished their first campaign under Verdun with a 7-14 record and a 2-8 mark in the loaded Three Rivers League. Although they did not qualify for the 24-team championship bracket, they were one of the last four squads standing in the Cascade Cup.

Wilson (13-6) advanced to the title game to face Sisters, which defeated Oregon City in the other semifinal, and won the inaugural second-tier tournament with a 12-9 victory June 7 at Lake Oswego High School.

Canby, which entered the postseason with five conference losses in a row, earned its first shutout win of the season against Hermiston in the first round and topped Hood River 17-7 in the quarterfinals to set up its meeting with the Trojans.

But as well as the Cougars played in the second half against Wilson, a poor start meant they were still down four goals with just seven minutes left in regulation.

“When we were down 6-1, I knew we were going to make them work for it,” Verdun said. “I had an idea that it was going to go into overtime.”

Cue the thrilling comeback.

Junior attacker Jordan Kahut scored on a pass from senior midfielder Trey Bellmore with 6 minutes 37 seconds to play. Senior long-stick midfielder Jake McDonald flung a ball past Trojans goalkeeper Eddie Erickson with 4:50 left, bringing Canby within 9-7.

Bellmore made it a one-goal game on a crafty transition move with 1:01 remaining.

“It’s crunch time, and our fast breaks have been awesome the last few weeks,” he said. “I made one guy miss, so I thought I’d place it low and see what happens. It was go-time.”

Bellmore finished with three goals and two assists to lead the Cougars.

But senior midfielder Colton Wood executed arguably the team’s most important scoring play of the night, beating his defender and powering a shot into the net to tie the game at 9-9 with 38 seconds left.

“Colton has improved so much from last year, and that is the perfect way for him to go out,” Bellmore said. “He works his butt off, so it was good for him to get that final goal. He’s going to remember that for the rest of his life.”

But all of Canby’s momentum came to a screeching halt just 34 seconds into overtime. With a penalty yielding Wilson a one-man advantage, Day fired a long-range missile that snuck past Cougars goalkeeper Collin Matthias.

And that was it.

Day, who led all scorers with four goals, put the Trojans in double digits with his overtime dagger. Canby was 6-1 when holding an opponent to single digits this season but 1-13 when giving up 10 or more.

“Take that first quarter down, and it’s a different game,” Bellmore said. “It’s a game of runs, of who’s going get the lucky bounce or the lucky call, so you can’t hang your head on this game. This was one of our best games of the year. I’m not going be upset that we didn’t play up to our full potential.”

Verdun said the Cougars’ run in the Cascade Cup was evidence of their collective ability to adapt to changes in the program and shake off a challenging league slate.

“As a first-year coach, I don’t think it could’ve gone any better, beginning to end,” he said. “Starting out with a new coach, new crew, new philosophy, new offense, new defense, we thought it might be a rough first season the whole way through. But everyone came together at the end and made for a great postseason. Next season, we’ll start right where we left off.”

Bellmore among all-league honorees

Four members of the Canby boys lacrosse team received all-conference recognition this season.

Senior midfielder Trey Bellmore represented the Cougars on the second team.

Junior attacker Jordan Kahut, junior midfielder Justin Eggimann and senior defender Halston Hoover received honorable mention.

West Linn’s Mark Floor was named the Three Rivers League coach of the year.

The Lions, Lakeridge and Lake Oswego combined to fill 11 of the 12 spots on the all-conference first team.

West Linn (21-1) defeated the Pacers 13-9 in the finals of the championship playoff bracket.



Cascade Cup semifinals

June 3 at Wilson High School

Wilson 10, Canby 9 (OT)

First quarter

11:20 (W) — Emmett Burby goal (Taylor Day assist)

6:18 (W) — Burby goal (No. 13 assist)

2:47 (C) —Justin Eggimann goal

1:50 (W)—Day goal

:43 (W) — No. 4 goal (No. 2 assist)

Second quarter

9:55 (C) — Nate McDonald (Eggimann assist)

2:46 (C) — Mitch Iafrati goal (Trey Bellmore assist)

Third quarter

9:23 (C) — Bellmore goal

8:15 (C) — Bellmore goal

6:36 (W) — No. 4 goal (Burby assist)

3:14 (W) — No. 13 goal (No. 2 assist)

:04 (W) — Day goal

Fourth quarter

6:37 (C) — Jordan Kahut (Bellmore assist)

4:50 (C) — Jake McDonald goal

1:01 (C) — Bellmore goal

:38 (C) — Colton Wood goal


3:26 (W) — Day goal

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