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Powerful Timberwolves splash rival Tigers


Tualatin, which has set big aspirations, wins 18-2

by: DAN BROOD - TAKING AIM -- Tigard's Liz Irving (left) looks to take a shot while Tualatin's Madison Berggren puts on the pressure during last week's match.TUALATIN — As the season goes on, the Tualatin High School girls water polo team is looking to achieve some lofty goals.

But, for right now, the Timberwolves say they’re taking it one game at a time.

And, last week, that one game turned out to be an impressive win over their rivals.

Tualatin stayed unbeaten on the season by rolling to an 18-2 win over a strong Tigard team in a Pacific Conference game played Sept. 25 at the Tualatin Swim Center.

“It’s a rivalry, but it’s a friendly rivalry,” Tualatin senior goalie Kate McDonnell said.

“It’s always fun when we play Tigard,” Tualatin senior Madison Berggren said. “It went really well today. We had togetherness in the water. We’ve improved so much since the first game of the year. Everyone contributed.”

“I was scared going into the season,” McDonnell said. “We were smaller in numbers and size. But it doesn’t matter.”

With the win, the Tualatin girls improved to 9-0 on the season and to 4-0 in Pacific Conference games to that point. The Wolves are hoping to carry their early-season success to glory later on.”

“State championship,” Berggren said of the team’s aspirations.

“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” McDonnell said. “But it’s our senior year, and we want to go out with a bang. We want to put another banner on the wall.”

“We just need to keep improving,” Berggren said.

Tigard moved to 4-3 on the season and to 1-2 in conference play at that point with the loss.by: DAN BROOD - BLOCKED -- Tualatin senior goalie Katie McDonnell blocks a shot during the Wolves' win over Tigard.

“Our girls are a solid group,” Tigard coach John Ruzicka said. “Hopefully, we’ll do well in the postseason. Our girls are good, but Tualatin has the best goalie in the state.”

The Timberwolves got off to a flying start in last week’s game.

Tualatin junior Marisa Lovos and sophomore Ashley Elisara both scored off of assists from Berggren to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead with 5 minutes and 32 seconds left in the first quarter.

Then, after McDonnell blocked a hard shot by Tigard’s Daria Weber, the Wolves went on another scoring spree.

Berggren scored three goals in the final 5:12 of the period and Lovos added two more goals to help Tualatin claim a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The stifling Tualatin defense allowed Tigard to take just three shots in the period.

Tualatin kept rolling in the second quarter.

A goal by Elisara gave the home team an 8-0 lead with 6:11 remaining in the period. Three more goals by Berggren, one coming off a pass from senior Emily Watt, another goal by Elisara and a follow-up goal by junior Emily Breyer gave Tualatin a 12-0 halftime lead.

Tigard got a pair of shots on goal by Taylor Roth and one by Avery Branen in the period, but all three of those attempts were saved by McDonnell.

The Tigers, still battling hard, were able to break through early in the third quarter. Liz Irving scored on a no-look backhand shot to trim the margin to 12-1 with 6:13 left in the period.

Then, after Tualatin got a goal from Elisara, Tigard scored again, this time on a shot by Quayone West, coming off a pass from Irving, to make the score 13-2 at the end of the third.

In the fourth quarter, Tualatin got two goals from Watt and one each by freshman Kayla Barrea, Lovos and Berggren to close out the 18-2 victory.

“The girls are bigger, stronger and faster this year,” Tualatin coach Ryan Deahn said of his team, which lost to Newberg in last year’s state championship game. “I think they are the superior team in the state this year.”

Berggren scored seven goals to lead the way for Tualatin in the win. Lovos had four goals, Elisara had three and Watt scored twice.

Irving and West had one goal apiece for the Tigers.

Tigard bounced back from the loss in a big way on Monday, posting an 18-2 win over Hillsboro in a conference game played Monday at the Tigard Swim Center. With the victory, the Tigers evened their conference record at 2-2.

On Wednesday, Tigard was scheduled to play at Lakeridge and Tualatin was slated to face Newberg. Results of those games weren't available when The Times went to press.

On Monday, the Timberwolves will play at Lake Oswego in a conference game starting at 6 p.m.