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The Tigers left Sherwood High School with a resounding defeat but showed no quit against Bowmen in league opener

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Newberg's Gracie Hess battles with a Sherwood player for control of the ball. The Tigers wound up losing 8-0 in the league opener against the Bowmen on Oct. 6.

While the Newberg girls soccer team didn't get the victory they wanted against Sherwood on Thursday, Oct. 6, the Tigers didn't falter in the 8-0 defeat. Newberg fell to 4-4-1 overall, while Sherwood improved to 3-4-2 on the night.

After giving up five first half goals, Newberg found itself continuing to press the attack and try to make inroads into the attacking third. It was something that head coach Scott Diefenbaugh was able to take away from the defeat.

"One thing I take away from the game is that these girls are willing to battle with anybody," Diefenbaugh said. "First half to second half, when I asked them to compete, they take that as a great challenge, and they did. It was a better second half and through all of our preseason, they continuously competed no matter who we were playing against. It's a great mentality that the girls have."

Sherwood jumped on Newberg from the start, scoring within the first minute of play. From there, it was almost entirely the Bowmen pressing the attack in the first half, shelling the Newberg goal for five goals.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Newberg sophomore Izabella Macris battles with a Sherwood striker in the Tiger's 8-0 defeat on Oct. 6.

The Tigers for their part tried to find something through the middle, looking to find proven scorers like sophomores Gracie Hess and Sienna Hansen. The Sherwood backline and midfield proved too disruptive on the night though.

Part of the issue for Newberg wasn't the will to win, according to Diefenbaugh. It was in communicating effectively on the pitch and growing comfortable with their teammates.

"A lot of the girls, we're still a very young team," Diefenbaugh said. "When we start, our starting lineup has three seniors. The rest of our lineup is sophomores and freshmen. We have a young team, a talented young team, but they're learning how to click together. I think that's a big part of it is they learn and get to play more with each other, they're going to combine better, more efficiently, more effectively, and control more of the field."

With only three starting seniors and six seniors on the roster total, the team may be young, but they have a drive to win. They showed it in non-league play with victories over McKay, McNary, Hood River Valley and David Douglas.

The youthful nature of the roster may have reared its head against Sherwood, but Diefenbaugh is confident in his team going forward.

"Our young players are just competitive people, they're just competitive," Diefenbaugh said. "I think being afraid of a team, I think we saw a little bit of that in our first half tonight, not really fear. They were just more nervous than they normally are, and that had to do with the girls knowing a lot of these players and they were just anxious. But our younger players are some of our more personally competitive, individually, independently competitive people. They always go out and always go against anybody."

Newberg (4-4-1) will look to bounce back against Glencoe (1-4-5) on Monday, Oct. 10.

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