Girls water polo: Tualatin scores a 17-5 victory over the Tigers to remain unbeaten
TIGARD - Zero.
That seems to be an important number to the Tualatin High School girls water polo team.
The Timberwolves have won a lot of games this season - adding to that total Monday with a 17-5 victory over rival Tigard - maybe even too many to count.
'I'm not sure how many we've won,' Tualatin senior Katie Newgard said following Monday's game. 'But I know we haven't lost any. Zero - that's the only number that really matters.'
The Timberwolves, who are the defending Class 6A state champions, moved to 7-0 in Pacific Conference play while also staying unbeaten on the season by scoring the win over the Tigers in a game played at the Tigard Swim Center.
'We try not to talk about it, but they know,' Tualatin coach Ryan Deahn said of his team's perfect record. 'They've been playing tough. We know that every team wants to beat us. The girls are working hard and they're not getting complacent.'
'There's totally a lot of room for improvement,' Newgard said. 'We're working hard every day to get better.'
Tigard moved to 3-3 in league games with the setback.
'Tualatin is a tough team,' Tigard senior Brett Higgins said. 'I thought we did pretty good. We're doing a lot better this year. I think we've really come together as a team.'
The Timberwolves got off to a fast start to Monday's game.
Timberwolf senior Bryn Hudson scored back-to-back goals, the first coming off a pass from Newgard and the second coming off an assist from junior Matea Mundstock, to give Tualatin a 2-0 lead with 4 minutes and 36 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Wolves, getting goals from senior Taryn O'Neill and from Mundstock, upped the lead to 4-0 with 3:11 left in the opening period.
Tigard answered back. Higgins scored off a pass from Taylor Roth and then she tipped in a pass from senior Tess Langseth for a goal to trim the margin to 4-2 with 1:08 left in the quarter.
Tualatin, getting a goal by Newgard off an assist from Mundstock in the final minute of the period, took a 5-2 lead into the second quarter.
And that's where the Timberwolves took off.
Tualatin, getting three goals by Hudson, two each from freshman Madison Berggren and Newgard and one from Mundstock, outscored Tigard 8-0 in the period to take a 13-2 halftime lead.
But the Tigers rallied some in the third quarter.
Higgins scored on a long-range shot just 8 seconds into the second half.
The Tigers then got a follow-up goal by Roth after an attempt by Liz Irving hit the crossbar of the Tualatin goal, trimming the lead to 13-4 with 5:28 left in the third quarter.
Then, in the final minute of the period, Higgins came up with a steal and then she scored on a breakaway lob shot to make the score 13-5 going into the fourth quarter.
But the Timberwolves pulled away again in the final stanza.
Hudson scored two quick goals, both coming off of passes from O'Neill to start the fourth quarter, upping the lead to 15-5.
Newgard then scored on a shot from the left side of the pool after taking a pass from Mundstock, making the score 16-5 with 3:42 left to play.
Mundstock capped off the scoring with a goal coming off an assist by Newgard, making the final score 17-5.
'Every game, we want to play our best,' Newgard said. 'We worked on a lot of things. We've got multiple set-ups, and we're working on that and we're working on our passing. It's going pretty good.'
Hudson was the leading scorer in Monday's game with seven goals. Newgard added four goals for the Wolves, Mundstock had three, Berggren scored two goals and O'Neill had one.
For Tigard, Higgins led the way with four goals.
'I couldn't do it without my teammates,' she said. 'This game was fun. It was a good learning experience for us.'
The Tigers were scheduled to travel to Gresham for a non-league game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press.
On Monday, Tigard will be home to face Newberg at 5 p.m. and Tualatin will host Forest Grove at 6 p.m.