TIGARD - A thick, eerie fog rolled in.

There were some howls to be heard in the distance.

And there was a loud, clanging bump in the night.

No, Halloween didn't get here early.

It wasn't scary at all. In fact, it was pretty exciting and fun to watch. And, hopefully, we might all get a chance to watch it one more time.

Last Thursday marked another chapter in the Tigard-Tualatin girls soccer rivalry. The match, won by the Wolves 1-0, featured a little bit of everything.

Of course, there was plenty of well-played soccer from the two well-coached teams full of talented players. There was the thick layer of fog, which rolled in during halftime. There were the howls to be heard - coming from the many supporters of both teams.

And there was that loud, clanging bump - courtesy of Timberwolf sophomore forward Courtney Verloo, who scored on amazing shot from the right corner of the field.

On her shot, which seemed to come out of nowhere, the ball thumped hard into the left post of the Tigard goal (thus, the loud, clanging bump) and bounced to the back of the net.

But most of all, there was so much respect - mutual respect.

Don't get me wrong. The match was filled with intensity and hard-hitting action. Both teams really wanted to win, and it showed.

But the respect was also there.

For instance, when Tigard senior defender Megan Moore hit the turf hard, the first person there to check on her was Tualatin senior midfielder Jaimie Martini.

'We respect them so much,' Tualatin senior Lindsey Wilcox said, over and over again. 'It's always so much fun when we play Tigard.'

'There's a lot of friendships between their team and ours,' Tigard senior Courtney Schild said. 'We bring that to the field. And the competition is great. It's a ton of fun when we play them.'

With that said, it very well could happen again.

It seems to me like the 2006 Class 6A girls soccer state championship match would be a great place for the next chapter of this rivalry to take place.

'There's no reason why we can't see these guys one more time,' Tigard coach Chad Crosby said with a smile.

'We'd love to play them again,' Schild said.

Now, there's a lot of soccer yet to be played, and there are a lot of good teams around the state.

Many things can happen between now and Nov. 18 (when the state title match will be played at Liberty High School in Hillsboro), but it certainly would be fun to see another Tigard-Tualatin battle - with the state title on the line.

Dan Brood is the sports editor at The Times.

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