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Timberwolves start and finish strong

Boys soccer: Tualatin jumps out quick on its way to scoring a 5-1 win over Newberg
by: DAN BROOD SURROUNDED — Tualatin sophomore Damien Cortez-Garcia (11) looks to drive past Newberg’s (from left) Jeber Minquez, Spencer Snyder and Ryan Linquist in last week’s match. The Wolves won 5-1.

TUALATIN - The Tualatin High School boys soccer team enjoyed a strong start.

The Timberwolves' finish was impressive as well.

Put it together, and it adds up to a decisive win.

The Wolves, striking fast, rolled to a 5-1 victory over Newberg in a Pacific Conference match played last Thursday at Tualatin High.

'We played hard and finished our chances,' said Tualatin senior Domenico Del Prete, who had two of the Timberwolves' goals in the win.

'This felt great,' Tualatin sophomore Damien Cortez-Garcia added. 'We worked our game and we really needed this win.'

Newberg fell to 0-9 in league matches at that point with the setback. Tualatin improved to 6-2-1 in Pacific Conference play, keeping the Wolves in third place in the league standings at that point.

'It wasn't a pretty game, but we got the 'W,'' Tualatin coach Eric McClellan said. 'We had flashes of good things tonight, but we have yet to put a whole 80 minutes in.'

That may be the case, but as least the first few minutes of last Thursday's match were definitely notable for the Wolves.

Tualatin took a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes after Del Prete scored a goal off an assist from junior Johnny Thayer. Very soon after, Thayer scored an unassisted goal off a corner kick attempt.

'A 2-0 lead in the first two minutes - that was nice,' Del Prete said. 'We came out ready to go and played hard.'

Newberg trimmed the margin to 2-1 when senior Edward Roman-DeChenne scored on a shot from 10 yards out off a corner kick.

The Wolves started firing back following the Tiger tally.

Tualatin had a shot by junior Jasen Armillas from 27 yards out sail just over the crossbar of the Newberg goal with 19 minutes and 41 seconds left in the first half.

Del Prete then had three attempts on goal in a seven-minute span later in the first half. The opening half concluded with Timberwolf senior goalkeeper Jeff Rott punching away a free-kick attempt by Newberg junior Jeber Minquez, leaving the Wolves with just a 2-1 lead at the intermission.

But Tualatin pulled away in the second half.

The Wolves upped the margin to 3-1 when sophomore Luis Martinez scored off a free kick sophomore Ryan Hyatt in the first five minutes of the second half.

Tualatin then pushed the lead to 4-1 when sophomore Madiba Sutton, while on the run, flicked a header shot into the Newberg goal off a free kick by sophomore Graham Fletcher coming with 23:01 left to play.

Then, following shots on goal by Martinez and Del Prete, the Wolves struck again.

With 10:46 remaining in the match, Del Prete took a pinpoint upfield pass from Cortez-Garcia and put a short-range, breakaway shot into the left side of the Newberg goal to wrap up Tualatin's 5-1 victory.

'We got the job done,' Cortez-Garcia said.

And the Wolves are looking to keep getting the job done this season.

'We've got more chemistry this year, and we're practicing hard,' Cortez-Garcia said. 'It's our passion.'

'We've got a big connection this year,' Del Prete said.

'We want to keep on winning,' Cortez-Garcia said. 'We haven't been to the semifinals (for a long time), and we want to rebuild this team.'

On Tuesday, Tualatin lost 3-2 league-leading McMinnville in a match played at McMinnville.

The Wolves will be back in action Tuesday when they host rival Tigard in a Pacific Conference match set to start at 7 p.m. at Tualatin High School.

The Tigers are on a hot streak heading into Tuesday's contest. Last Thursday, Tigard posted a 2-1 road win over Glencoe. The Tigers followed that up Tuesday with a 4-1 home victory over Forest Grove. With the two wins, Tigard improved to 6-3-1 in league play, putting them in a tie with Tualatin for third place in the Pacific Conference standings heading into Tuesday's match.