Water polo: The Timberwolves are now looking to repeat as state champions
CORVALLIS - Thanks to a pair of impressive postseason victories, the Tualatin High School girls water polo team put itself in a position to make it two in a row.
The defending-state champion Timberwolves moved into the semifinal round of the state tournament by posting a 19-3 state playoff win over Sprague and a 23-4 state tourney quarterfinal victory over Lincoln in games Friday at the Osborn Aquatic Center.
'The girls played great. They've played great all year,' Tualatin coach Ryan Deahn said. 'We wanted to let people know we're here to play. They're serious. The girls are hitting on all cylanders and their defense is tenacious.'
With the two victories, unbeaten Tualatin advances to the semifinal round of the tournament. The Wolves will meet South Eugene in a tournament semifinal game this Friday, starting at 6:10 p.m. at the Osborn Aquatic Center.
'South Eugene has a couple strong players,' Deahn said. 'We've been game-planning for them all week. We don't want to ret on anyone.'
Tualatin, in last Friday's state playoff game with Sprague, wasted little time taking complete control.
The Wolves, getting three goals by senior Bryn Hudson and two by junior Matea Mundstock, grabbed a 6-0 lead before the game was even three minutes old.
Tualatin went on to claim a 12-1 lead at the end of the first quarter, with Mundstock having five goals in the period.
Junior Sara Visse scored two goals in the second quarter as the Wolves pushed their lead to 15-1 by halftime.
Senior Taryn O'Neill, sophomore Hannah Price and freshman Marisa Lovos each had a goal in the third quarter, which ended with the Wolves leading 18-2. Sophomore Emily Watt tallied a goal in the fourth quarter for Tualatin to cap off the 19-3 victory.
Mundstock led all scorers in the contest with six goals. Hudson had three goals while Visse and freshman Madison Berggren each had two.
Sophomore goalie Kate McDonnell had six saves for the Wolves in the win. O'Neill, playing in goal in the fourth quarter, had five saves.
Tualatin also got off to a strong start in the quarterfinal match with Lincoln.
Berggren, Mundstock, Hudson and senior Katie Newgard each had a goal in the first 4:29 of the game, giving Tualatin a 4-0 lead.
The Wolves (who led 5-2 at the end of the opening period), and Hudson, took over in a big way in the second quarter.
Hudson had seven goals in the period, helping Tualatin open a 16-4 halftime lead. She then scored four more times in the third quarter as the Wolves upped the margin to 20-4 going into the final stanza.
Junior Abbie Howard, Hudson and Mundstock each had a fourth-quarter goal as Tualatin, which shut out Lincoln over the final 15:40 of the game, got the 23-4 victory.
Hudson paced the Wolves with 14 goals in the victory.
McDonnell had 11 saves.
Tualatin, if it wins its semifinal match on Friday, will play in the state title game Saturday at 5:45 p.m.