The Tigard boys water polo team notches a 16-7 victory over Forest Grove
by: DAN BROOD, TOP SCORER — Tigard sophomore Jeff Rogers scored six goals and dished off four assists in the Tigers’ 16-7 victory over Forest Grove in Monday’s match.

TIGARD - A fast start.

A big, needed win.

One thing led to the other for the Tigard High School boys water polo team.

The Tigers, looking to bounce back after losing at Woodburn last week, jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead on their way to scoring a 16-7 victory over Forest Grove in a Pacific Conference game played Monday at the Tigard Swim Center.

'This was very nice, especially after the Woodburn game (an 8-5 loss on Oct. 11),' Tigard senior Louis Rogers said. 'We definitely needed some spirit and some passion.'

With the win, Tigard improved to 3-7 in Pacific Conference play.

Sophomore Jeff Rogers sparked the Tigers' strong start in Monday's game, scoring five goals and assisting on another in the opening quarter.

'Everyone was really pumped for the start,' Jeff Rogers said. 'I know I was psyched.'

It showed.

The younger Rogers brother scored on a close-range goal, coming off an assist from junior Garrett Zakrzewski, just nine seconds into the game, giving Tigard a quick 1-0 lead.

Another goal by Jeff Rogers upped the advantage to 2-0. Forest Grove got the scoreboard, getting a goal from Zach Thompson, cutting the lead to 2-1 with 2:56 to go in the opening period.

But the Vikings couldn't get any closer the rest of the way.

Jeff Rogers scored back-to-back goals, the second coming off a long pass from Zakrzewski, to quickly up the margin to 4-1 with 1:33 left in the first quarter.

A goal by Tigard junior Neil Cronkrite pushed the score to 5-1 with 52 seconds left in the period. Jeff Rogers then came up with a steal and breakaway goal to up the lead to 6-1.

Rogers then came up with another steal and passed ahead to Cronkrite, who converted on his shot to make the score 7-1 with 23 seconds left in the quarter.

'Jeff played really great,' Louis Rogers said. 'He's been working hard all year. He did a great job coming up with the steals.'

Junior goalie Nathaniel Rosemeyer had four first-quarter saves and a long assist in the opening quarter to help the Tigers grab their early first-quarter advantage.

Forest Grove scored again right before the end of the first quarter, getting a goal by Brandon Williams with 6 seconds to play in the period. But that would be the last goal the Vikings would get in the first half.

In the second quarter, Tigard got three goals from junior Nathaniel Rosemeyer, two coming off assists from Jeff Rogers, and Louis Rogers scored from close range, off a pass from his brother, to give the Tigers an 11-2 halftime lead.

Junior Dylan Gillaspie scored a pair of goals for Tigard in the third quarter, one coming off an assist from Louis Rogers. The Vikings scored three times in the period, cutting the Tiger lead to 13-5 going into the final stanza.

Tigard put aside any doubt of the outcome by scoring three unanswered goals to start the fourth quarter. Jeff Rogers notched the first of those goals, coming 18 seconds into the period. Cronkrite scored off an assist from Louis Rogers and junior Zach Eastwood scored on a breakaway off a pass from Cronkrite to make the score 16-5 with 3:53 left in the game.

Forest Grove got a pair of late goals to make the final score 16-7.

'We were kind of in a slump, but we're coming back,' Tigard coach John Ruzicka said.

Tigard may have started the comeback this past weekend when they played in a tournament at Parkrose High School.

'We were missing Louis at the tournament,' Jeff Rogers said. 'So everyone else stepped up.'

The Tigard girls also picked up a win on Monday. They bested Forest Grove 16-2 to improve to 6-4 in Pacific Conference games.

Senior Ellie Bradley had seven goals for Tigard in the win and Emma Beringer added three.

The Tigard teams were scheduled to face Aloha in non-league games on Wednesday. Results of those games weren't available when the Times went to press.

The Tiger squads will next be in action Monday when they play Lakeridge in league games to be held at the Lake Oswego Swim Center. The girls varsity game will be played at 7 p.m. with the boys game to be followed at 8 p.m.

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