Tigard boys rally to top Wilsonville
TIGARD — The Tigard High School boys soccer team didn't exactly get off to the best start in its first match of the season.
But the Tigers made up for that — and then some — with a spectacular finish.
Tigard, after trailing Wilsonville 2-0 at halftime, scored four unanswered goals in the second half to rally for a 4-2 win over the Wildcats in a non-league match played last Thursday at Tigard High School.
"The first half, we were losing, but we changed some things up, kept our heads up and got the win," said Tigard senior forward Jacob Theodoroff, who scored the Tigers' first two goals. "We worked our butts off in the second half, and it paid off."
"In the first half, we were kind of slow, but we huddled up before the second half, and we said, 'this is our field, and we have to show what we're made of,'" said Tigard senior midfielder Marco Milan, who scored the team's final goal of the match. "We had more grit and we were more aggressive. We were just sprinting everywhere, and the score showed."
"It was good. It's our first match, so we had to sort things out. In the second half, we definitely figured it out," said Tigard senior midfielder Trevor Smith, who scored a goal on a penalty kick. "We definitely settled down. That was the big part. We gained a lot of composure."
With the loss, Wilsonville moved to 1-1 on the season. Tigard got its season off to a 1-0 start with the come-from-behind victory.
"This is a huge win," Theodoroff said. "We're playing at home in our first game, and we wanted to start the season off strong, and this was a good way to do it."
"This was very important, to go 1-0," Milan said. "Wilsonville came out strong. They showed they're a good team. We needed this for a strong start."
Wilsonville got off to a strong start in the match at Tigard. The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead when junior forward Adam Landy scored on a turnaround shot from 27 yards out, coming with 22 minutes and 4 seconds left to play in the first half.
Wilsonville upped the margin to 2-0 when Landy scored on a short-range shot, coming off a scramble for the all in front of the Tigard goal, coming with 13:36 left in the first half.
The Wildcats would take their two-goal lead to the halftime break. But it seemed to be a different Tigard squad that took the field in the second half.
"We got pumped up at halftime," Theodoroff said. "We realized that we couldn't play slow anymore, and we got our heads into it."
The Tigers got strong shots from senior midfielder Rahseed Tarhuni and junior defender Jack Hallam early in the second half.
Then, with 24:54 remaining, Tigard was able to break through. Theodoroff, following a throw-in by senior Carlos Valdovino and a head flick by sophomore Jesse Corvarrubia, scored on close-range attempt, tapping the ball into the back of the Wilsonville goal to cut the lead to 2-1.
Then, just 1:47 later, Theodoroff scored again, this time on a rebound shot after an attempt by Milan was blocked on a dive by Wilsonville goalkeeper George Krecklow, tying the match at 2-2.
"That was pretty exciting," Theodoroff said. "I guess I was in the right place at the right time. I'm grateful that I got to score those goals in the first game of the season."
Soon after, Tigard would take the lead. Wilsonville was whistled for a foul in the penalty box, and Smith drilled the ensuing penalty kick into the right side of the Wildcat goal, giving the Tigers a 3-2 advantage with 20:44 left in the match.
"I knew where I was going all along," Smith said. "It's the PK I always do, and I'm glad I scored it."
Holding a one-goal lead, Hallam came up with a key defensive play, when he headed away a Wilsonville corner kick with 6:54 left to play.
Milan then wrapped up the scoring when he put a free-kick shot, from 35 yards away, into the upper left corner of the Wilsonville goal with 45 seconds remaining.
"Usually, we have Trevor, our captain, take them, but I got fouled and, in the back of my head, I said, 'I'm going to bury this,'" Milan said. "I just curved it right in that corner. That was my plan."
Soon after, Tigard was celebrating its first win of the season.
"This was very important," Smith said. "I think it adds a lot of the team, and has us looking forward to the next game."
In the decisive second half, Tigard had eight shots on goal. Meanwhile, the Tiger defense, including Valdovino, senior Jarred Debban, sophomore Brandon Mendez, senior Sergio Isla and Hallam, among others, limited Wilsonville to two shots on goal in the final 40 minutes.
The Tigers will be back in action on Monday, when they play at Centennial in a non-league match starting at 6 p.m. On Thursday, Tigard will host rival Tualatin in a Three Rivers League opener set to start at 7 p.m. at Tigard High School.
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