By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary lacrosse coach Ryan Bowlby needed only one word to describe Chad Pinney’s game after the Celtic junior scored five goals in a 13-9 win over Hermiston on Friday, March 17.
“Chad used to live back there so he knows a bunch of these boys,” Bowlby said. “He grew up with them. His old best friend is on the team so you knew what you’re going against and he rose to the challenge, which is brilliant. He’s the one that kept us in it with the first couple of goals.”
McNary fell behind 3-0 in the first five minutes before battling back.
“We definitely came out flat to start the game, not being ready and miscommunications on defense,” Bowlby said. “They weren’t talking the first quarter and by the end of the game they were yelling and everyone was talking. That was big since in lacrosse you have to communicate to be successful on defense. If you don’t talk, you won’t win.”
Pinney scored the Celtics first goal midway through the first quarter and added another with 3:37 remaining. Alex McGrath then tied the game 3-3 just 14 seconds into the second quarter.
After Pinney scored again with 8:14 remaining in the first half, Jonathan Williams, despite being fouled and momentarily knocked out of the game, scored his first of five goals to give McNary a 5-3 lead and conclude a 5-0 run.
The Celtics led 5-4 entering halftime but Hermiston quickly tied the game and then took a 6-5 lead with 7:25 remaining in the third quarter.
After Williams tied the contest back up at 6-6, Pinney again took over, scoring two more goals to give McNary a lead that would stick, 8-6 with 10:18 left to play.
“We just worked as a team and just really moved the ball around, looked for the open shots and took them,” Pinney said.
Hermiston twice got within one goal of the Celtics, 8-7 and 9-8, but McNary, playing two-men-up, scored four goals in the final 2:39, one each by Tyler Anderson and Jack O’Connor and two by Williams, to put away the visiting Bulldogs.
“They had a team win. That was the big thing, lots of guys scoring out there, Bowlby said. “Defense, we were able to show a bunch of different things. We had worked on a new defensive set on Wednesday and they were able to implement it tonight. That’s a big step for them.”
Bowlby also acknowledged the play of goalie Marcus McCoy.
“He came up phenomenal like always, a great athlete going after the ball, made some great saves out there to keep us in the game,” Bowlby said.
The Celtics expect another close game on Friday, March 27 when Mountain View comes to Keizer.
“It’s always a back-and-forth game,” Bowlby said. “One year we win. Next year they win. They won last time so it’s our turn.”