The Tigers win a thriller 17-16 over Century and hang on to beat Tualatin 13-11 to move into a tie for fourth place

2014 has become a season of firsts for the Newberg girls lacrosse team, beginning with the Tigers’ first-ever win over Glencoe April 3.

Head coach Terry Paskett’s team then turned around to beat West Salem a day later to record back-to-back wins for the first time in program history. by: SETH GORDON - Turning the corner - Abby Turner works to get around a defender during Newberg's 13-11 win over Tualatin at Loren Douglas Field Friday evening. Turner scored a goal and dished out an assist as the Tigers evened their record at 5-5.

After suffering a setback against state-title contender Wilsonville and a tough 7-6 loss to Sherwood, Newberg set about recording firsts last week. The Tigers added another notch to their belt April 15, knocking off Century for the first time 17-16 in overtime.

If that wasn’t enough, Newberg then bested Tualatin 13-11 April 17 to earn consecutive wins for the second time this season, which also moved the Tigers into a tie for fourth place for the final birth to the state playoffs from the Northwest League.

“We’re still young, still freshmen and sophomores,” Paskett said. “But we’re learning quick.”

The victory over Century was a back-and-forth affair from the start and neither team led by more than two goals at any time in the game.

Newberg led 9-7 at the half, but the host Jaguars rallied to take a 14-12 lead late before the Tigers made a frantic rally, scoring twice in the final minute to force overtime.

The game-tying goal came from Marta Burchett, an unlikely source considering it is her first season in the sport. While she’s been a solid defender and is lightning quick on clears, the senior is still developing her stick skills.

The multi-sport athlete earned a free position (essentially a free shot on net from a restart) with 19 seconds remaining and didn’t blink at her chance to force the two three-minute overtime periods.

“She just blew it by the goalie,” Paskett said. “That’s the hardest shot I’ve ever seen her take.”

Century scored once in the first overtime, but it was all Newberg in the second, as Christian Bryan scored two of her seven goals and Sydney Kosmicki notched her third to go along with three assists.

In all, eight different players scored in the win.

“Our passing and catching is getting to the point where they have confidence and can make six or seven passes back and forth,” Paskett said. “The confidence level is really up.”

The Tigers were in complete control in the first half at home versus Tualatin, controlling possession and scoring with ease en route to a 9-2 lead.

The two teams traded goals early in the second stanza to make it 12-5 with 16:30 to play, but at that point the momentum swung completely behind the Timberwolves, who went on a 4-0 run over the next five and a half minutes.

The game slowed down over the next seven minutes and after a Newberg goal was called off for a crease violation, Tualatin scored with 3:10 remaining to make it 12-10.

Newberg finally responded, as Bryan won the ensuring draw control, raced up the middle and scored to make it 13-10 and break the Tigers’ 13-minute scoreless drought.

“Tualatin wasn’t going to let us run away with it,” Paskett said. “They decided to come to play in the second half and we knew they had the firepower to come back.”

Newberg (5-5, 3-3 league) played at sixth-place Liberty Tuesday (results unavailable at press time) and will host Glencoe at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Austin Sports complex.

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