Late goal gives Tualatin a 6-5 win in back-and-forth tilt

by: DAN BROOD - IT'S A BATTLE -- Tualatin's Liam McBain (22) and Tigard's Mason Worrell (7) prepare to race for the ball during last week's game played at Tualatin High School. The Timberwolves got a 6-5 victory. TUALATIN — That was about as close as it could get.

It was about as exciting as it could get.

And, for the Tualatin High School boys lacrosse team, it was about as thrilling of a victory that it could get.

In a back-and-forth contest, where neither team ever held more than a one-goal lead, the Timberwolves, getting the game-winning tally with just over a minute left to play, tipped rival Tigard 6-5 in a Pacific Conference nail-biter played April 24 at Tualatin High School.

“That was the most intense game in my four years here,” Tualatin senior defender Garrett Medvec said after the game. “That was our biggest win of the year, so far.”

“That was so much fun,” said Tualatin senior Kip Hagberg, who scored the game-winning goal. “It’s my favorite game that I’ve ever played in. This was our Super Bowl.”

With the loss, Tigard moved to 1-1 in Pacific Conference play and to 5-9 on the season to that point.

“This is a big rivalry, in every sport,” Tigard senior captain Nick Smith said. “This definitely was a fun game. They’re cool guys.”

“That really was a hard-fought game,” Tigard sophomore Kevin Gress said.

For Tualatin, the win over Tigard came in the team’s league opener, and it also gave the Wolves a 3-8 overall record to that point.

“This is huge for us,” Hagberg said. “It’s probably going to be Tigard, Glencoe and us for first place in league.”

Last week’s showdown featured five ties and four lead changes. The contest also featured some stifling defense by both teams.

Tualatin took the first lead, at 1-0, when Hagberg scored on a spinning shot from three yards away just 16 seconds into the opening quarter.

But both squads’ defenses took over from there. Tigard’s defense, including Bryan Baker, Randy Maston, Cameron Oldham, Branden Baker and Brett Leitherer, among others, and Tualatin’s defense, including Medvec, Tyler Gastiaburu and Grant Phillips, among others, didn’t allow another goal to be scored in the remainder of the first quarter.

Tigard tied up the game, at 1-1, on a goal by Alex Compton, coming on a shot from 15 yards out with 11:14 left to play in the second quarter.

But again, the defenses shined after that. That seemed to be especially true for Tigard goalie Chance Callaway, who stopped all eight of Tualatin’s shots on goal in the period, keeping the game tied at 1-1 at halftime.

The teams seemed to pick up the intensity in the second half.

Tigard took its first lead of the match, at 2-1, when Matt Hockman scored off an assist from Gress with 9:55 left to play in the third quarter.

But Tualatin tied the game at 2-2 with 7:43 remaining in the period when Medvec scored on a short-range skip shot after a long drive with the ball up field.

“Last year, I had a goal against them on almost the same type of play,” Medvec said. “I hoped to do it again this year.”

The Wolves then regained the lead, at 3-2, on a goal by sophomore Liam McBain, coming with 4:00 left to play in the third quarter.

Tigard answered that when Gress scored on a shot from six yards away to tie the score at 3-3 with 2:25 left in the third quarter. Neither team was able to score again in the period, keeping the rivals tied at 3-3 going into the fourth quarter.

Tigard struck first in the final stanza, taking a 4-3 advantage when Hockman scored off a great running pass from Kyle Baldes with 11:29 left to play in the game.

Tualatin tied things up at 4-4 with 10:11 remaining when Aaron West scored on a flip shot from three yards out off a pass from Hagberg.

The Wolves then went on top when Sam Chamseddine scored on a drive with 6:48 left to play, giving Tualatin a 5-4 lead.

Tualatin held onto the one-goal margin going into the final two minutes of the contest. But, with 1:25 remaining, the Tigers got the equalizer when Baldes scored on a spinning shot from five yards out, tying the game at 5-5.

But it didn’t take long for Tualatin to strike back. With 1:06 remaining, Hagberg, after taking a pass from Alex Wacker, scored on a shot from seven yards out on the left side, giving Tualatin a 6-5 lead.

“It’s a team sport and I was fortunate to get the goal,” Hagberg said. “The ball went in the net — that’s all that matters.”

Tualatin then had to sweat out the last minute to hold onto the victory. McBain came up with a steal with 53 seconds remaining, but the Wolves lost the ball out of bounds to the Tigers with 28 seconds left.

But Tigard lost the ball in a scramble before it was able to take a final shot, leaving Tualatin with the 6-5 victory.

“This was really big, with all we’ve been through with injuries,” Medvec said.

“It’s a rivalry, and we’re on top in league,” Hagberg said.

Both teams got strong play at goalie in the contest. Callaway played the distance for Tigard while Jon Peters and Jacob Friedhoff split the goalie duties for Tualatin.

Both teams picked up a pair of league wins following last week’s dramatic battle.

Tigard scored a 12-2 win at Newberg on Friday and then won on the road, 12-0, at Forest Grove on Monday to move to 3-1 in league play and to 7-9 on the season.

Tualatin, on Friday, beat Forest Grove 18-2 at home. On Saturday, the Wolves fell 11-3 at home to Bend in a non-league game, but they bounced back to win at Century 17-5 on Monday. That victory gives Tualatin a 3-0 league mark and an overall record of 5-9.

Tigard was scheduled to host Glencoe in a league game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press. The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they play at Hillsboro at 7 p.m.

Tualatin was slated to play at Hillsboro on Wednesday. The Wolves will be back in action Friday when they host Hillsboro at 8 p.m. On Tuesday, Tualatin will play Glencoe in a game starting at 7 p.m.

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