Tiger youth soccer team is champion
A youth soccer team from Newberg has achieved great distinction.
The Newberg Tigers U-12 team earned the title in the Timbers Division 1 Green of the Oregon Youth Soccer Association based on the points it had accrued over the course of several months. Playing at Newberg High School, the Tigers defeated Hillsboro Soccer Club's U-10 Red team 3-1 on May 1 in the final game of the spring season to secure the points necessary to earn the title.
"We were down 1-0 at halftime and needed to win to secure the top spot in the division," Dan Horton, who coaches the team with Jose Vargas, said in an email. "Ten minutes into the second half, Dylan Santana made a driving shot from the right side. With 90 seconds remaining in the tied game, Daniel Vargas made a great lofted ball assist to Roberto Molina to take the lead (2-1). Then with a minute remaining Noah Rodriquez intercepted a pass; he hit the ball with the outside of his foot which caused the ball to bend to left over the outstretched hands of Hillsboro's goalie."
Horton pointed to a particular aspect of the Tigers' play for the win.
"Our stingy defense -- anchored by Chase Ramirez, Kennady Williams, Finley Garver, Seth McIntyre and one of the best goalies in the league, Dominic Elias -- shut down any second half scoring attempts by Hillsboro … securing a 3-1 victory and championship for the Tigers!" Horton said.
The Tigers, sponsored by the Newberg Youth Soccer Club, finished 5-0-3 for an undefeated spring season in a U-12 league territory that covers all of Oregon and southwest Washington, Horton said.
The team is not a stranger to excelling in state competition. In November, the Tigers won the U-12 Division 1 State Founders Cup as well.
"The boys have been together about three years now of year-round training and it has shown in their results," Horton said.
A win by a youth team from a small town is virtually unheard of, he added.
"This has not been done in the history of the Newberg Soccer Club at this high level, as we are competing with large soccer clubs with larger pools of players and many resources greater than ours," Horton said. "An example: Lake Oswego Soccer Club has three teams competing for the U-12 boys age bracket on our division and lower divisions. We beat their No. 1 team for the overall championship."
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