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A battle between two of the top teams in the state resulted in a pair of Lake Oswego victories

PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - Newberg's defense, strong for much of the match, gave up two late goals that proved to be the difference.

It was as close a contest as you could imagine. Heading into the Wednesday showdown both Newberg and Lake Oswego were undefeated and ranked in the top three in the state and the competition played out that way.

Newberg lost a narrow 11-10 decision after four quarters and a pair of overtime periods. The Tigers slip to 7-1 on the season, while Lake Oswego stays sterling with an 11-0 record.

Newberg coach Michael Rubottom and his squad were expecting a stern test from the Lakers ahead of the clash and, despite the result, was pleased with the grit the Tigers showed in the pool.

"We were all excited to play this game," he said. "We knew that LO was going to be great competition, they're a great team -- defending state champions. They have not been tested in a year and a half. Almost every game they've played have been blowouts. I was really proud of our team coming out strong and with intensity in the first half. I loved seeing that. We just needed to finish. We didn't finish tonight, but our goal is to finish at the end of the year."

That strength and intensity was evident early. Neither Newberg or Lake Oswego capitalized on a goal for the first two and a half minutes of the match, although both teams were shooting. Ultimately though it was Newberg who struck first.

The Tigers jumped to a 3-0 lead, scoring the first goal off a penalty shot and grabbing another on a put-back effort. Lake Oswego would eventually score with less than two minutes to go in the opening frame, but Newberg led 5-3 after seven minutes.PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - NHS coach Michael Rubottom instructs his player late in the 11-10 loss in double overtime to the Lakers on Sept. 28.

The second quarter was more defensive intensity from the Tigers, holding the visiting Lakers scoreless while netting a goal of their own. At the half, Newberg led 6-3. The third quarter saw more of the same, both teams scoring only one goal. Heading into the fourth quarter of regulation, Newberg was up on its rival from Lake Oswego 7-4.

The fourth quarter saw a massive momentum swing. Newberg opened the scoring, going up 8-4, but from there Lake Oswego went on a four-goal tear over the course of the first five minutes. Knotted up at 8-8 Newberg had its chances in the final minute, bouncing a shot off the crossbar and getting a steal with 15 seconds remaining. Ultimately, the first 28 minutes ended in an 8-8 draw.

In overtime Newberg once again started out on the front foot, punching home a goal at the 2:11 mark of the period. Less than a minute later however, Lake Oswego answered, tying things again at 9-9.

The second overtime period began as none of the previous five had: Lake Oswego scored first, getting the ball in the net with 2:07 remaining in the final stanza. Newberg answered with a put-back goal, but Lake Oswego scored the winner with nine seconds left in the game. A last second Newberg shot was off and the Tigers found themselves defeated for the first time this season.

"I think the biggest difference (in the last overtime period) was we made a few mistakes that cost us a goal," Rubottom said. "This is about getting back on defense and we knew who their threats were. We need to work more on communication and awareness. Those are two of the things we really train to and coach to throughout the season, and that's an area that we can really work on a little bit more as we finish the rest of the season."

Newberg's top scorers in the game were seniors Grant Waldal and Ryan Dickerson, who earned three goals apiece for the Tigers. Senior Mateo McKay had a pair of goals in the first quarter and sophomore Asher Stone and sophomore Brien Emmons each had a goal in the contest.

Communicating and being aware is something Rubottom has preached since the beginning of the season, and something he has seen glimpses of and slight improvement in as the weeks have gone by. He knows that if the team continues to grow, the next time they encounter Lake Oswego the outcome should be different.

"We're going to match up with this team probably two, maybe three more times," Rubottom said. "Our goal is always at the end of the year. Communication, awareness and that discipline that we coach to, those things don't always come together midway through the season. So, at the end of the year, that's when we're looking for that to come in."

Newberg girls lose 15-12 shootout to Lakers

PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - The NHS girls suffered a 15-12 home loss at the hands of Lake Oswego on Sept. 28 at the Chehalem Aquatic Center.

It was a slow start that ultimately doomed Newberg against Lake Oswego. The Tigers lost a 15-12 battle against the Lakers on Wednesday. Newberg falls to 7-6 on the season, while Lake Oswego improves to 10-6 overall.

Right out of the gate, Lake Oswego jumped on Newberg. Two goals from the Lakers put Newberg in an early deficit, one the team would climb out of thanks to back-to-back goals from Newberg seniors Cydney Doerr and Ava Krober. Lake Oswego finished the quarter on top 3-2.

The second quarter saw Lake Oswego expand its lead, outscoring the home team 5-3 in the frame. Newberg trailed 8-5 heading into the half.

One of the ways the Tigers scored in that second quarter was on the counterattack. Newberg's keeper passed the ball deep down the middle of the pool for Doerr, who scored directly in front of the goal.

"We knew we were a faster team and if we could stop them defensively, just that split second of anticipation, we were hoping to get an advantage on a counterattack," NHS coach Matt Bayha said. "We were pushing that more in the second half. It was successful a number of times, but there were too many missed opportunities to climb out of the hole we dug ourselves in the first half."

According to Bayha, he gave his team a matter-of-fact speech at halftime before they returned to the pool.

"I said it was up to them at this point," he said. "We conditioned for this … and to be honest they conditioned hard and they worked hard and it was going to be the practice that showed in that game. We probably need to do a little more practicing and come back and be able to pull out of that deficit a little stronger. But I told them it was really up to them, if they were going to lay back or if they were going to fight, and they needed to start fighting."PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - The loss to the Lakers dropped Newberg to 7-6 on the season.

The two teams exchanged three goals apiece in the third quarter and going into the fourth quarter Newberg still trailed by three 11-8. In the fourth quarter Newberg continued to battle into the final seconds of the game, but ultimately wound up on the wrong side of a 15-12 result.

Newberg senior Cydney Doerr was the leading scorer in the game, notching eight goals on the night, six of which came in a monster second half. Senior Ava Krober had two goals, and seniors Sonia Brenner and Ali Correa each had a goal.

Now one game closer to .500, Newberg has a league clash against Lakeridge ahead of it on Oct. 5. According to Bayha, the team will need to buckle down as it heads towards the postseason.

"I expect them to finish stronger than they are right now," he said. "We're at that midpoint of the season where we all are kind of looking at our beginning of the season goals, and I think this is where the rubber meets the pavement. It's going to take more discipline and dedication at practice, and hard work and effort and team communication to reach the goals that individually we have, and as a team we have."

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