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Tigers come on strong at Lincoln


After giving up a early goal, Tigard battles back to get a 1-1 tie

by: DAN BROOD - TIGER BALL -- Tigard junior Emilee Cincotta (4) keeps the ball away from Lincoln junior Kathleen Daly-Jensen.PORTLAND — It wasn’t exactly the start the Tigard High School girls soccer team was looking for.

But the Tigers, turning up their energy level, more than made up for it. And, because of that, they came oh so close to coming away with an impressive win.

Tigard, after giving up an early goal, then took control as it fought back to tie a strong Lincoln squad, 1-1, in a non-league match held last Thursday at Lincoln High School.

“We started off rough, but we picked it up,” said Tigard junior midfielder Megan Franz, who scored the tying goal for the Tigers.

“We had more energy in the second half,” Tigard junior midfielder Emilee Cincotta said. “It was a good battle.”

Lincoln moved to 1-0-3 on the season at that point with the tie. The young Tigard team, which played without some key players in last week’s match due to injury, remained unbeaten on the season at that point, moving to 4-0-1.

“We’ve been working together and working hard,” Franz said of the team’s strong start to the season. “We’ve had a nice start and it’s getting there.”

“Our team has bonded well,” Cincotta said. “And I think we’ve bonded better. I think we can be pretty good.”

But, in last week’s match, the Tigers found themselves facing an early deficit as Lincoln sophomore Toni Castro scored on a shot from 20 yards out to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead just 5 minutes and 57 seconds into the contest.by: DAN BROOD - UP HIGH -- Tigard junior Megan Franz (10) heads the ball during last week's match at Lincoln. Franz scored the Tiger goal in the 1-1 tie.

Tigard got a shot on goal by freshman forward Natalie Bryant one minute later, and the Tigers got a shot on goal by Cincotta later in the first half, but they found themselves still trailing 1-0 at the intermission.

But it seemed to be an inspired Tigard squad that took the field to start the second half.

Less than four minutes into the second half, Tigard had a hard-hit shot on goal by junior Erin Graham off a pass from Cincotta, but Lincoln sophomore goalkeeper Gabby Beard made a diving deflection to preserve the Cardinal lead.

But, with 33:10 left in the match, the Tigers wouldn’t be denied as Franz scored on a shot from 16 yards out to tie the score at 1-1.

Tigard freshman Rachel Josephson started the scoring play with a throw in to freshman midfielder Ellie Freeman from the right sideline. Freeman got her head on the ball, which was then deflected to Franz, who drilled her shot into the left side of the Lincoln goal.

“That was a great goal,” Cincotta said.

“I didn’t expect it to go in,” Franz said with a smile.

After the tying goal, the Tigers seemed to pick their energy up even more.

“That inspired us,” Cincotta said. “We kept working hard.”

Tigard definitely seemed to be working hard on the defensive end of the field.

Tiger sophomore defender Sarah Schaffer headed away a cross by Lincoln junior Kathleen Daly-Jensen in front of the Tigard goal.

With 19:32 left to play, Tigard freshman goalkeeper Larysa Cleaver came running out to knock the ball away from Daly-Jensen, who had an open look at the Tigard goal.

Four minutes later, Cleaver did the same thing, this time grabbing the ball right before Lincoln sophomore Morgan Matthews was about to take an open shot from 12 yards out.

“Larysa stepped up,” Cincotta said. “She played a great game.”

The motivated Tigers then put the pressure on in a big way, looking to get the go-ahead goal.

With 11:50 remaining, Tiger senior Elizabeth Flores had a shot from 18 yards out grabbed on a leap by Beard. Just over two minutes later, Tigard came really close to scoring as a header by Cincotta, off a free kick by Schaffer, hit the crossbar of the Cardinal goal.

Cincotta had another header attempt, off a Schaffer corner kick, go just over the crossbar with 7:10 remaining.

“Those were so close,” Cincotta said.

Lincoln had the last attempt of the match, coming on a shot by senior Tara Maercklein with 2 seconds remaining, but Cleaver made the save to wrap up the 1-1 tie.

“I was happy for the team and happy with the effort,” Tigard coach Paul Slover said. “This was a good challenge. Lincoln is a bit more mature than us, but, overall, the girls responded well.”

On Tuesday, Tigard lost 3-1 to Grant in a non-league match played at Tigard High School.

The Tigers will be back in action tonight (Thursday) when they travel to face defending Class 5A state champion Sherwood in a non-league match starting at 7 p.m. at Sherwood High School. On Tuesday, Tigard will open its Pacific Conference schedule when it hosts Glencoe at 7 p.m.