Tualatin girls pull away at Newberg
NEWBERG — The Tualatin High School girls lacrosse team certainly seemed to be losing momentum.
After all, the Timberwolves watched Newberg come back from an early three-goal deficit to tie the score, at 6-6, late in the first half of their Northwest Oregon Conference showdown.
But, as it turned out, that might have provided Tualatin with just the spark it needed.
The Wolves, after Newberg tied the score, ended the first half with a flurry of five unanswered goals on their way to scoring a 17-11 win over the Tigers in the conference game played April 25 at Newberg High School.
"Once we get fired up, when it's crunch time, a spark ignites us," said Tualatin senior Sarah Hanson, who led a balanced Timberwolf scoring attack with five goals. "We make the right plays and everything works out."
"We really thrive on that hunger, and we're a really competitive team," said Tualatin sophomore Sidney Dering, who added four goals. "We were definitely aiming to score, and having those cuts and passes really helped us out."
With the loss, Newberg moved to 3-1 in conference play (7-4 overall at that point), putting the Tigers in second place in the conference standings. Tualatin improved to 4-0 in conference games (7-3 overall at that point), leaving the Wolves alone atop the conference standings.
"This is a pretty big win," Hanson said. "We hadn't played them yet. They're in our league and, right now, they're ranked over us, so it was really important to win this game so that we can move up in the rankings and get closer to winning conference."
"This is a pretty big win for us," Dering said. "We were excited to come out here and play tonight. We were really gelling together before the game. We didn't have our bus, so we all rode together and got really pumped up. We have a really close team this year. We have a lot of depth in our team, and I think we're going to be a threat the next couple of years."
Tualatin got off to a flying start in the showdown at Newberg. Hanson opened the scoring with a goal off a pass from Olivia Mans. Hanson then scored again on a drive from the left side, and Megan Pickett added a goal off an assist by Megan Jost, giving the Wolves a 3-0 lead with 22 minutes and 3 seconds remaining in the 25-minute first half.
The Timberwolf defense, including Zoe Taaffe, Skylar Maddox, Alexis Atkinson and Elizabeth Tyler, among others, also started strong, shutting out the Tigers for almost five minutes to open the contest.
But Newberg, getting goals from Gracie Anderson and Naomi Rauch, trimmed the Tualatin lead to 3-2 with 18:08 left in the half.
Tualatin, getting goals by Dering, off an assist by Hanson, Braquelle Blanchard and Mans, led 6-5 with 8:24 remaining before the intermission. But Newberg would come back to tie the game, at 6-6, when Isabella Osborn scored on a spin-around shot with 6:17 left in the first half.
But that turned out to be the spark that ignited a big Tualatin scoring spree.
Hanson started the attack with a bounce-shot goal from five yards out with 4:17 remaining in the half. Hanson then added another goal off a pass from Pickett. Dering then scored, followed by back-to-back goals by Pickett, coming off assists from Hanson and Dering, giving Tualatin an 11-6 halftime lead.
"We still have a lot to work on with our passing, but, when it works, it looks really pretty and it's awesome," Hanson said.
The Wolves, while slowing the tempo, kept up the offensive pressure in the second half. Goals by Sydney Winters and Dering gave Tualatin a 13-7 advantage with 15:12 left in the contest.
From there, Tualatin got goals from Dering, Haleigh Magdelain, Hanson and Pickett, and steals on defense by Maddox and Lusi Tapasa, helping the Wolves close out the 17-11 victory.
"I think it went really well," Hanson said. "We had a really strong team effort. We have a young team, and it all came together this year. The camaraderie is there, and everyone is just working together. We have lots of girls scoring."
Hanson had three assists to go with her game-high five goals. Dering also had three assists to go with her three goals. Pickett scored four goals. Blanchard, Mans and Magdelain had one apiece. Sarah Cotrell, Jost and Pickett each had an assist.
"I think our transitions in the midfield kind of ebb and flow, but tonight, we were really solid," Dering said. "There were a couple dropped passes in there, but we always have the drive, and we work really hard to get back. And we share the goals. We really value assists on this team. We think that's really important. It's a team effort, and we really focus on that. This was fun. I love lacrosse. It's an awesome sport and I love my teammates."
Anderson and Alli Stilp each scored four goals for Newberg.
On Saturday, Tualatin got a 10-9 non-league win at Summit. Senior Avery Gales, who missed the Newberg game, led the Wolves in that contest with seven goals.
On Sunday, the Wolves got a 10-5 non-league win over Bend in a game played at Mountain View High School.
The Wolves will be back in action on Friday, when they face Newberg in a conference rematch starting at 7:45 p.m. at Tualatin High School.