Tualatin battles past Bowmen in showdown
SHERWOOD — It was physical.
It was intense.
And, for the Tualatin High School boys lacrosse team, it was a big win.
The Timberwolves gained control of the race for the Northwest Oregon Conference regular-season title by powering their way to a 9-3 win over Sherwood in a conference showdown played last Thursday at Sherwood High School.
"This is probably the biggest win we've had in a long time," said Tualatin senior attacker John Tromley, who scored a game-high five goals in the victory. "We hadn't beat Sherwood before, and this is the first year that Sherwood's in our conference, and we've got a lot of buddies on that team."
"It was a really good game," said Tualatin senior goalie Riley Sells, who had 12 saves in the contest. "It was a fun game. We love playing Sherwood. They're a great team."
With the loss, Sherwood moved to 3-1 in NWOC games (10-7 overall), putting the Bowmen in a tie with Tigard for second place in the conference standings.
Tualatin improved to 4-0 in NWOC play (11-4 overall), putting the Timberwolves alone atop the conference standings.
"It was a good win," Tromley said. "We played like a team, and got the result we wanted."
"It was really good," Sells said. "First time we've beat them in four years."
While both teams appeared to be fired up at the start of the game, it was Sherwood that struck first, getting a goal on a shot from 14 yards out by Cameron Pfeifer, giving the Bowmen a 1-0 lead just 39 seconds into the contest.
But the Tualatin defense, including sophomore Eli White, sophomore Colbey Alsop and junior Devin Boatsman, among others, didn't allow Sherwood to score again in the remainder of the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Tualatin tied the game, at 1-1, on a driving goal by sophomore Ean Hildreth, coming with 10:30 left to play in the opening period. The Wolves struck again just 13 seconds later, with Tromley scoring his first goal of the night, giving Tualatin a 2-1 lead that it wouldn't relinquish the rest of the contest.
Tromley scored two more times in the quarter, the first coming off an assist from sophomore Kaelen Santana, giving the Wolves a 4-1 lead going into the second period.
Both defenses took over from there. Neither team was able to score in the first 11 minutes of the quarter — despite Sherwood getting strong shots from senior Owen Grubbe and junior Ian Stormont, and Tualatin getting attempts from junior Dylan Lyman and Tromley.
The Wolves ended the scoring drought when senior Carter Frainey scored on a hard, low shot from 15 yards away, off a pass from Santana, coming with 58.0 seconds remaining in the period, giving Tualatin a 5-1 halftime lead.
Sherwood, battling back, got consecutive goals from Parker Rembe and Wyatt Snyder, off assists from Aaron Zweig and Grubbe, to trim the margin to 6-3 with 7:14 left in the third quarter. But Tualatin closed the period in a big way. Coming out of a timeout, Tromley scored on a shot from near midfield with 42.4 seconds remaining in the period, upping the margin to 7-3 going into the fourth quarter.
"Honestly, Sherwood made an interesting call to pull their goalie and get up on the ball," Tromley said of the long-range goal. "We saw an open net and put it in there."
Tualatin added goals from Hildreth and Frainey in the final stanza to close out the 9-3 victory.
"I think we just worked hard," Tromley said of the key to victory. "We got the ground balls we needed and we needed to work hard than they did, and we pulled through."
"Determination, we kept fighting back and fighting back," Sells said. "The defense worked really hard. (Alsop) worked his (rear end) off. He's one of the best defenders we have, and there's not enough I can say about him."
Tualatin, on Monday, got a 21-11 home win over Wilsonville in a conference contest.
Sherwood will be back in action on Tuesday, when it plays at Tigard in a conference game starting at 8:30 p.m. The Wolves will next be in action on Friday, when they host Newberg in an 8 p.m. conference game.
"We're going to try to keep pushing forward," Sells said. "We want to be the best we can."