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Beavers roll Skyhawks in Metro League opener

Beaverton pours across five goals in the first three minutes of its win vs. Southridge
by: Miles Vance ON TARGET — Beaverton’s April Snodgrass shoots over Southridge’s Erika Prestwich during her team’s Tuesday win.

BEAVERTON - Beaverton's girls left nothing to chance.

The Beavers, hosting Southridge in both teams' Metro League water polo opener at Beaverton Swim Center on Tuesday, blasted the Skyhawks with five goals in the game's first three minutes and used that early edge to fuel their 13-5 win.

The win lifted Beaverton's Metro record to 1-0 and its overall mark to 7-0, while Southridge fell to 0-1 and 1-5-1.

'It was helpful to get our intensity up and have that confidence for the rest of the game,' said Beaverton junior April Snodgrass, who tied for team-high scoring honors with three goals.

'I think we played really well,' added Beaverrton senior Elaine Marshall, who added three goals of her own. 'We have some goals in mind. We want to work on defense and awareness, and that happened this game.'

The youthful Skyhawks, meanwhile - they have just one senior, one junior and eight sophomores and freshmen on their varsity roster - knew they'd played hard and vowed to learn from the experience.

'We were pretty tired, but we were giving it our all,' said sophomore Ally Hanson-Holtry, who led her team with three goals. 'Each game we try to get better and better and we're doing really good.'

The Beavers' first-quarter blitz started just 15 seconds into the game when Marshall took a pass from Snodgrass and scored from point-blank range on the left side of the goal. Snodgrass made it 2-0 just 35 seconds later when she took a long pass and scored on a counterattack, and Beaverton just kept on rolling from there.

Hannah Hollowell took a Madeline Motto pass and scored from the right side with 4:29 left in the first quarter, Laurel Skinner cashed in from the left side less than a minute later, and Hollowell scored on another break - this one set up by a Snodgrass pass - and scored again with 3:14 to go in the period to make it 5-0.

Hanson-Holtry slowed that run momentarily when she lobbed home a looping shot from the right side with 3:02 left in the frame, but Snodgrass added a second goal to

push Beaverton's lead to 6-1 at the end of the first.

The Skyhawks opened the second quarter with their best stretch of the game, with Mackenzie Klapp taking a Blair Woods pass and scoring from five yards one minute into the period, and Hanson-Holtry scoring on a counterattack to cut the Beaver lead to 6-3.

But the Beavers weren't about to let this one get away. Motto and Snodgrass added two goals in the final 2:13 of the half and Beaverton took an 8-3 edge into the break.

The Beavers then posted a 4-0 scoring edge in the third quarter to put the game out of reach, all of those goals coming in the first 2:46 of the period. Megan McLinden got that stretch started off a Marshall pass just 16 seconds into the third, Hollowell scored at the end of a breakaway, Marshall followed suit 25 seconds later, and Motto capped that run when she scored with 3:14 left in the stanza to make it 12-3.

The Skyhawks tacked on fourth-period scores from Woods and Hanson-Holtry, but it was too little and too late.

Based on the fast start to their season, the Beavers' hopes for 2011 are sky-high.

'We want to do pretty well in state this year,' Marshall said. 'We'll start with Metro and then move on to state. I think the two teams we need to beat are Lincoln and Westview, so we just have to keep it up and stay strong.'

Southridge, meanwhile, plans to keep moving forward and aims to continue improving.

'We're trying to teach all the new girls the rules and we're really improving,' Hanson-Holtry said. 'We always try to think positively and take what we did out of this game that wasn't our best or our strongest point and get better.'