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Beavers strike early and hard to beat Skyhawks

The Beaverton girls water polo team leaves nothing to chance in 14-1 win


BEAVERTON — Now that was more like it.

The Beaverton girls water polo team, still stinging from a Metro League-opening loss to Lincoln, found a way to soothe its pain last week, taking apart Southridge 14-1 at Beaverton Swim Center On Sept. 27 to even its record at 1-1. The Skyhawks, meanwhile, dropped a 10-0 decision to Lincoln on Tuesday and fell to 0-3 in league play.

by: MILES VANCE - READY TO SCORE - Beaverton senior Madeline Motto gets ready to take a shot during her teams 14-1 West Metro League win over Southridge at Beaverton Swim Center on Sept. 27.

“A lot of it was just being a team, being aware of who to defend and who your man is, and getting open and wanting the ball and just being so much more aggressive than the other team,” explained Beaverton senior Kristy Rutz, who scored twice in the victory.

“We worked on our defense (today), and from that, we got great offense and lots of shooting opportunities,” added senior Madeline Motto, who led all scorers with five goals.

Despite the loss, the youthful Skyhawks knew they’d learned from it and left determined to put those lessons to good use in future games.

“We’re learning to practice our defense,” said Southridge junior Ally Hanson-Holtry. “We have a lot of new girls so we’re trying to get them built up and do the best we can. We’re proud that we at least tried and got a goal.”

The Beavers weren’t going to let anything get in their way last week, though, blasting out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter and keeping the hammer down through the third period when their lead crested at 13-0.

Freshman Emma Egan got things started for Beaverton when she scored just 42 seconds into the contest, and Motto followed with the first of her three first-quarter goals just 21 seconds later to make it 2-0. Motto converted a penalty shot with 2 minutes, 9 seconds left in the period, and the Beavers tacked on counterattack goals by Hailey Hecht and Motto to account for that 5-0 lead.

The Beavers then extended that edge to 8-0 in the second period, first getting a counterattack by Kaitlyn Wright assisted by Motto, then back-to-back Motto goals in the middle of the quarter. Southridge didn’t score there, but did begin to generate some offense, getting a strong shot from Isabelle Sichel that was just tipped out by Beaverton goalkeeper McKenzie Mengis, and another dangerous attack by Hanson-Holtry that was stopped with 10 seconds to go before the half.

Beaverton then put the game on ice with a 5-0 burst in the third quarter for that 13-0 lead. Kristin Kepner started that run when she connected on a break assisted by Motto, Rutz added back-to-back scores in a span of just 37 seconds, and Cienna Wall and Egan both scored late in the frame.

Maggie Newton scored Beaverton’s final goal at the start of the fourth quarter, while Southridge broke through on a tough shot by Sichel in the game’s closing seconds.

“I think we know what we’re capable of now. I think we’re really ready now,” Rutz said. “I understand our defense and our offense and we know who can score and who can do what.”

“We have a lot of new girls on our team, so we just worked on being together today,” Motto added.

For the Skyhawks, Hanson-Holtry said she was proud of her team for continuing to play hard and continuing to improve.

“I’m proud of all the girls, to see where they’ve come from and they’ve tried hard every day on practice,” she said. “Just being a team is our main goal, always being supportive of each other no matter what is the main thing.”

In upcoming games, Southridge hosts Sunset at Beaverton Swim Center at 4 p.m. today (Thursday), and plays in the Tualatin Hills Tournament Friday through Sunday. Beaverton faces Westview at Sunset Swim Center at 4 p.m. today, plays in the Tualatin Hills Tournament Friday through Sunday, then hosts Sunset at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.



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