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Austin Kosmicki scores five goals to lead Newberg to the Cascade Cup semifinals

SETH GORDON - Zak Hensley rises into the air to launch a shot during Newberg's 10-8 Cascade Cup quarterfinal victory over West Albany Thursday night at Loren Douglas Field.

Although the Newberg boys lacrosse program doesn't have a lengthy postseason resume, the Tigers showed some poise and maturity last week in rallying to beat West Albany 10-8 in the Cascade Cup quarterfinals.

Newberg (10-10) was sloppy with its passing in the opening half, falling behind twice in the first half, but stepped up its defense and got three consecutive goals from Austin Kosmicki in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

"It's good that we never really got frustrated and gave up on it," NHS coach Brian Wood said. "It's games like this that have a lot of learning, a lot of growth. That's what's going to carry over."

Newberg fell behind 2-0 in the early going, but got two goals of its own to draw level by the end of the first half. West Albany pulled ahead by a couple of goals again early in the second half, but the two teams entered the locker room tied 6-6 at the break.

Avian Mendoza scored the lone goal of the third quarter to make it 7-6, as Newberg cleaned up its passing and prevented the unsettled opportunities that the Bulldogs had been thriving on in the first half.

It all came together offensively for the Tigers on back-to-back goals from Kosmicki, who ended up with the ball after two textbook strings of passes, burrying his shot each time to make it 9-6.

After West Albany answered to make it 9-7, Kosmicki scored on an underhand shot low past the keeper to make it 10-7 and pretty much put the game out of reach with 4:33 to play. He finished with five goals and one assist.

With the win, Newberg advanced to the semifinals of the Cascade Cup, which pits the highest-ranked teams not to qualify for the 24-team state championship tournament in a 16-team bracket.

The Tigers were seeded third for the tournament and advanced to face No. 2 Clackamas (7-13) Tuesday night (results unavailable at press time).

Newberg has already advanced further than it ever has before.

"It's fun to be finally be at such a high level of lacrosse after all the years of being blown out by teams like this," senior goalie Dalton Paskett said. "We're finally coming back and beating them for a change."

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