The Tigers fall to Newberg in the consolation contest at the state event

by: DAN BROOD - STATE ACTION -- Tigard junior Avery Branen (left) looks to pass inside against Newberg's Victoria Johnson during Friday's game at the state tournament.CORVALLIS — The Tigard High School girls water polo team finished up what could easily be called a successful season Friday at the Oregon State Tournament.

But, the Tigers said, they had a chance to make it even better.

Tigard ended its campaign with a 13-7 loss to Pacific Conference foe Newberg in a consolation semifinal game played Friday at the Osborn Aquatic Center.

“It was a pretty good season,” Tigard junior Liz Irving said after the contest. “We could have done even better. Personally, I thought we were one of the top four teams in the state.”

Still, it was a season that saw Tigard tie Newberg for second place in the Pacific Conference standings and earn a trip to the state event.

“We came up a little short a couple of times,” Tigard coach John Ruzicka said. “But it was a good season. I think the girls all improved.”

Tigard, in Friday’s state tournament game, had to play a bit shorthanded, as key starting senior Kayla Wagenhofer had to miss the contest due to illness.

“We were a man short, but the girls stepped up,” Ruzicka said.

Newberg, getting goals from sophomore Elizabeth Andrews and junior Grace Brockie, took a quick 2-0 lead before the game was even two minutes old.

by: DAN BROOD - TOP SCORER -- Junior Liz Irving (left), looking to shoot here against Newberg's Elizabeth Andrews, led Tigard in scoring during its state tournament game on Friday.Tigard, with Irving scoring goals off assists from junior Avery Branen and with junior Quayone West putting in a shot off a pass from senior Taylor Roth, came back to tie the game at 3-3 with 1 minute and 55 seconds left in the first quarter.

But Newberg answered with goals by Brockie and Andrews to take a 5-3 lead into the second quarter.

A goal on a turnaround shot by Irving cut the margin to 5-4 in the first minute of the second quarter. Newberg got the lead back to two, at 6-4, when Andrews scored with 5:56 left before halftime.

Tigard kept firing away late in the period, getting a shot by Irving and three by sophomore Daria Weber in the final two minutes of the quarter. But Newberg goalie Kate Kisling made saves on all four of those attempts.

Meanwhile, Newberg got a pair of late goals in the period to open up an 8-4 halftime lead.

Newberg also recorded the first two goals of the third quarter, giving the team a string of five unanswered goals to go with a 10-4 lead.

But Tigard kept fighting back. A goal by Irving ended the Newberg scoring spree and make the score 10-5 going into the fourth quarter.

Tigard also opened the scoring in the final stanza. Irving, after taking a pass from Branen, scored on a power-play shot that zipped inside the left post of the Newberg goal to make the score 10-6 with 6:10 remaining in the contest.

by: DAN BROOD - MAKING WAVES -- Tigard junior Quayone West (front) gets to the ball ahead of Newberg sophomore Tia Lattanzio.Newberg scored the next three goals to go up 13-6. Irving scored from six yards out with 25 seconds to play to make the final score 13-7.

“It was tough without Kayla, but the girls played well,” Ruzicka said. “We adjusted and settled down.”

Irving led all scorers in the contest with five goals.

“I tried my hardest,” she said.

West had the other Tigard goal.

Brockie and Andrews led Newberg with four goals apiece.

Friday’s state tournament contest marked the end of high school water polo for Tigard seniors Roth, Laurel Nave-Powers and Wagenhofer.

But Tigard potential should have a strong group back next year.

“I’m looking forward to another good year,” Ruzicka said.

Other members of the Tigard team are junior Tate Keeley, freshman Gwenyn Nave-Powers, junior Melia Gering, freshman Aby Molatore, freshman Emma Barbee, junior Kara Cymara and sophomore Courtney Hicks.

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