The Timberwolves get defensive
Water polo: The Tualatin boys pitch a shutout on their way to getting a win over Tigard
TIGARD - The first time it faced rival Tigard this season, the Tualatin High School boys water polo team picked up a victory, but the Timberwolves also watched the Tigers score 12 goals.
They weren't totally happy about that.
But they certainly seemed to be all smiles following the rematch.
In the teams' second meeting of the season, Tualatin shut out Tigard on its way to posting a 9-0 victory in a Pacific Conference game played Monday at the Tigard Swim Center.
'That was good,' Tualatin sophomore goalie Jacob Baldry said after the game. 'The last time we played them, it was 21-12. To go from 12 to zero means a lot to us.'
With the victory, the Timberwolves improved to 5-4 in league games, keeping them in the middle of a battle for playoff berths with Hillsboro and Lakeridge, with all three teams trailing first-place Newberg.
'This was pretty big for us,' Baldry said. 'It keeps us in the running for the playoffs. We think we can do it. We all have confidence in each other.'
'It could come down to the wire,' Tualatin coach Ryan Deahn said. 'We're showing a lot of growth. We're progressively getting better.'
Tigard, which moved to 4-6 in league contests with the loss, came out firing to start Tuesday's game. The Tigers got first-quarter shots from Andy Pin, Michael Joseph, Kenny Nys, Gannon O'Gorman and Justin Metschen. But Baldry came up with saves on all of those attempts.
'It all comes down to legwork,' Baldry said about all of his saves during the contest. 'I practice a lot and work out. I'm not the tallest guy, so it comes down to jumping.'
The Wolves took a 1-0 lead in Monday's game when senior Wilson Giles scored on a breakaway shot with 24 seconds left in the first quarter.
Tualatin then got its offense rolling in the second quarter.
Freshman Harrison Visse and senior Forrest Lofgren scored back-to-back goals in the first minute of the period to push the lead to 3-0.
Giles added on another goal, with a skip-shot attempt from the right side, to make the score 4-0 with 4:20 left in the first half.
Another goal by Visse and a follow-up goal by Lofgren, coming with 42 seconds left in the second quarter, helped Tualatin push the margin to 6-0 at halftime.
Timberwolf senior Evan Kaeding scored on a close-range shot off a pass from Giles to make the score 7-0 with 5:47 left in the third quarter.
Neither team was able to score in the rest of the period, although Tigard came close, as a long-range shot by Nys smacked the right post of the Timberwolf goal with 4:41 remaining in the period.
Lofgren added two more goals for the Wolves in the fourth quarter. He scored off an assist from Kaeding with 5:07 left in the game and he notched the game's final goal with a spin around shot, following a pass from Giles, with 3:32 left in the game.
Meanwhile, Tualatin was trying to complete the shutout on defense. Tigard had another close call, as a shot by Adam Odeh hit the left post of the Timberwolf goal with just 45 seconds remaining, but the Tigers couldn't quite break through, and Tualatin got the shutout.
'We're always working on it,' Baldry said of the team's defense. 'I'm really proud of our defense. We knew what we were doing today.'
'They're all friends,' Deahn said of the Tigard-Tualatin match-up. 'But they all battle hard. Our plan today was to work on our defense.'
Lofgren was the leading scorer in the contest with four goals. Giles and Visse added two goals apiece for the Wolves and Kaeding had one.
Both teams were slated to be in action on Wednesday. Tualatin played at Lake Oswego in a league contest and Tigard traveled to Gresham for a non-league tilt. Results of those games weren't available when the Times went to press.
On Monday, Tigard will be home to face Newberg at 6 p.m. and Tualatin will host Forest Grove at 7 p.m.