Lakeridge girls polo starts fast, then falls 15-6 to Newberg
The Lakeridge girls water polo team knew it was facing a challenge.
So the Pacers — hosting powerful Newberg at Lake Oswego School District Pool on Wednesday, Oct. 3 — did exactly what they needed to do early. They came out in their home pool and held their own against the Tigers, keeping the game tied after one quarter.
But Newberg, a team that's won 20 state championships since 1986, is used to being challenged. The Tigers responded with a four-goal edge in the second quarter and rolled to victory from there, winning 15-6 in Three Rivers League play.
"This is the best score differential we've had — we only lost them by eight — (but) obviously, we still have some things to work on," said Lakeridge junior Molly Glad, who tied for team-high scoring honors with three goals. "We hadn't lost a league game yet so it gives (us) something to look to and go 'This is what I need to do to be better.'"
"They're a difficult team, but I think we really put up a fight and we have a lot of time to get better," added Lakeridge freshman goalie Evelyn Miller. "I think next time, it will be even harder for them."
With the loss, the Pacers fell to 0-1 in the Three Rivers League and 7-2 overall, while the Tigers won for the sixth straight time and improved to 2-0 in the TRL and 12-1 overall.
Newberg started fast against Lakeridge, getting the game's first goal from Hailey Day just 41 seconds into the contest, but the Pacers didn't flinch. Lakeridge sophomore Cascade Stensland tied the game on a penalty shot with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter, and after that, the Tigers got a score from Natalie Kisling assisted by Stella Byles, while Lakeridge answered with another Stensland goal set up by Glad that tied the score 2-2 with 1:20 left in the quarter.
But Newberg's defense — including goalie Maile Walls — stiffened there, kept Lakeridge off the scoreboard for the next 10:05 and built a 7-2 lead before the Pacers scored again in the third quarter. The Tigers' four-goal second quarter was highlighted by two scores from Day and one each by Ava Krober and Kisling to lead 6-2 at halftime.
Next, Newberg's Madelyn Morse took a Madeleine Smart pass and scored to extend their team's lead to 7-2 just 32 seconds into the third quarter.
The Pacers finally got back on the scoreboard when Glad hit an angled shot from the right side off a pass from Stensland, but the Tigers roared back with three straight goals that boosted their lead to 10-3. Those scores came from Byles (two) and Amelia Bayha, with Morse picked up assists on two of those.
Glad and Day then traded scores at the end of the quarter to send the game into the final period with Newberg ahead 11-4.
Day and Kisling made sure the Pacers got no closer, with Day connecting twice in the fourth quarter and Kisling scoring three more times while the Pacers added single goals by both Stensland and Glad for the final 15-6 margin.
"Yes it was a tough loss — every loss is a tough loss when you care so much about a sport," Glad said. "But I feel like, compared to where we have been in the past, I think we made great Improvement and we're still coming together, and hopefully, in three weeks, we can go out and capitalize on what we missed today and eventually beat them."
"We have lots of time to improve and work on stuff, and I definitely think the next time, they will have a harder time," Miller added. "I think that what we do need to do is have no excuses when we (practice) with the guys. We need to play everything like it's going to be our last and our careers depend upon it."
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