Girls soccer: Tualatin, with Popma out with injury, pulls together to get a 5-0 victory over Tigard
TIGARD - Losing one of the top players in the state to injury could be devastating to most teams.
But the Tualatin High School girls soccer squad is trying to turn such a situation into a positive. And, so far, it looks like that's just what the Timberwolves are doing.
Tualatin, playing its first full match since senior forward, and top scorer, Anna-Marie Popma suffered what could be a season-ending injury, powered its way to a 5-0 win over rival Tigard in a Pacific Conference match played Tuesday at Tigard High School.
'I think it's brought the team a lot closer,' Tualatin coach Rossano Rocha said. 'I think it's fueled the entire team to be even closer than normal.'
With the victory, league-leading Tualatin, which still hasn't been scored upon this year, improved to 11-0 in Pacific Conference play. Third-place Tigard moved to 6-3-2 in league play with the setback.
Popma, who has 97 career goals at Tualatin, tying her for first place on the Wolves' all-time scoring list, suffered a broken collarbone when she was taken down to the turf in the first 20 seconds of Tualatin's match with McMinnville back on Oct. 11.
'She might be out for the year,' Rocha said. 'I think that lit a fire in us.'
Tualatin went on to win the McMinnville match by a 6-0 score, with four different Timberwolf players having at least one goal.
In Tuesday's match at Tigard, which the Wolves dedicated to Popma, five different players scored.
'We're getting scoring from everywhere,' Rocha said. 'Everyone is involved.'
Tualatin, which led 4-0 at halftime on Tuesday, got goals from junior Makena Carkner, junior Kelsey Wagner, senior Megan Freel, senior Cassie Baldwin and freshman Kyla Hackelman in the victory.
Tigard and Tualatin will both return to action tonight.