Girls soccer -- Tualatin and the Tigers will have their rematch tonight starting at 7 p.m. at Tigard
TUALATIN - The final result was a 5-0 victory, though the Tualatin girls soccer team was hardly thrilled with its play against Canby on Tuesday at Tualatin High School.
The top-ranked Timberwolves could be pardoned if their minds were preoccupied. With a rematch against Tigard looming today (Thursday), Tualatin was eager to dispatch the Cougars and move on as quickly as possible.
'Usually we're a little better than this,' Tualatin senior forward Rachelle Kliewer said. 'We got a couple goals and then focused on some things we need to work on.'
Kliewer scored 49 seconds into the match and the Wolves tacked on three more goals in the first half with a strong possession game that afforded Canby few touches and even fewer scoring opportunities.
'That's our main objective: possession and knocking the ball to feet,' Tualatin coach Rossano Rocha said. 'You can't win the game if the ball is in the air 90 percent of the time.'
The win improved the defending state champions to 6-0-1 in the Pacific Conference and 9-0-2 overall and set up the battle of unbeatens when Tualatin travels to No. 6 Tigard (9-0-2, 6-0-1) today at 7 p.m. The teams tied 1-1 in their first matchup September 28.
'It's a big game,' Kliewer said. 'They took it as a win. We took it as a loss. Now we know the feeling of tying Tigard. We'll do better this time.'
First the Wolves had to put away Canby (2-7-1, 1-6-0), which they did with ease, using a patient approach with crisp, precise passes to control the ball then striking quickly when the opportunity arose.
The first chance came when junior forward Ally Schaeffer dribbled along the left sideline into the corner and sent a nice cross into Kliewer along the outside of the 6-yard box. Kliewer gave Tualatin a quick 1-0 lead with a score past the goalkeeper into the left side of the goal.
The Wolves kept the pressure on, taking 17 shots and eight corner kicks in the first half. They struck again in the 13th minute when sophomore Annah Kennedy got on the other end of Schaeffer's corner kick for a header over the outstretched arms of the keeper and into the back of the goal.
Schaeffer made it 3-0 in the 30th minute with a long shot from 15 yards out on the far left side that cleared the leaping keeper and tucked just inside the top right corner of the goal.
Tualatin took a 4-0 lead into halftime with a goal just before the intermission. Kliewer sent a long pass ahead to Courtney Verloo, who beat the charging keeper with a shot from 20 yards out into the middle of the goal with 1:03 left.
Five different Wolves scored with Jensen Skinner tacking on a goal 2:48 into the second half. The freshman dribbled left then switched directions and fired a shot from 25 yards out that soared past the diving keeper and into the top left corner for a 5-0 lead.
Canby managed just seven shots, including four on goal, each of which was grabbed by Tualatin's keepers. Senior Lindsay Parlee had three saves in the first half. Senior Molly Gehrs turned back the Cougars' final shot in the 16th minute of the second half when she deflected Laura Knopp's shot, knocking it out the end line.
'We didn't play our best tonight, but we got the W,' Rocha said. 'We know as a unit we have things to work on. We just weren't as sharp.'
If that's the case, it was hard to tell as the Wolves came close to doubling its scoring output with a few near-misses.
In the fourth minute, senior Jaimie Martini's shot from 25 yards out went just over the crossbar. Moments later, Verloo fired a shot from 15 yards out that was grabbed by diving Canby goalkeeper Brittney Williamson, who had 10 saves in the game.
Kliewer worked around a defender in the 10th minute with a nifty spin move and launched a shot from 15 yards out that went off Williamson's hands and out the end line. In the 26th minute, Kliewer beat a charging Williamson to a free ball, but her shot went just wide left before she collided with the keeper.
Schaeffer's corner kick in the 35th minute was slapped off the crossbar by Williamson.
Tualatin sent in its reserves for much of the second half and continued to dominate the action. Skinner's shot from 10 yards out in the seventh minute of the second half bounced off the top of the cross bar. Williamson also turned back a Skinner shot shortly later with a diving stop.
In addition to tonight's match with Tigard, Tualatin will also play at Newberg Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The Tigard girls soccer team moved to 5-0-2 in Pacific Conference play by scoring a 7-0 home victory over Forest Grove on Tuesday.
Amanda Howie had a big night for the Tigers in the win, scoring four goals.
With the victory over the Vikings, the Tigard girls improved their overall record to 8-0-3 going into tonight's match with the Timberwolves.
The Tigers, on Tueday, will play at Canby at 6:30 p.m.