The Tualatin girls will face Barlow in Friday's semifinals

by: DAN BROOD - IN THE SWIM -- Tualatin freshman Zoe Linford (right) swims ahead of Beaverton senior Madeline Motto during Saturday's state playoff game in Corvallis. The Timberwolves scored a 17-2 victory. CORVALLIS — The defending state champion Tualatin High School girls water polo team was looking to get its 2012 postseason trek off to a fast start.

Mission accomplished.

The Timberwolves, anxious to open the playoffs, started the postseason by rolling to a 17-2 win over Beaverton in an Oregon High School Water Polo state playoff game played Saturday at the Osborn Aquatic Center.

“That was a good way to start the playoffs,” Tualatin senior Sarah Visse said after the victory. “We wanted to start off fast. We’ve had to hold back during the season, so we wanted to get it going.”

“The girls were really ready to play,” Tualatin coach Ryan Deahn said. “They’re excited, but we still have to get stronger and we’re going to take them one at a time.”

With victory over Beaverton, Tualatin advanced to Saturday night’s state tournament quarterfinal round held at the Osborn Aquatic Center. In that game, the Wolves scored a 10-2 win over South Eugene.

With that victory, Tualatin advances to the semifinal round of the state tournament and the Wolves will meet Barlow Friday at 5 p.m. in a semifinal contest to be held at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton.

“I think we’re ready for anyone,” Deahn said.

by: DAN BROOD - LEFTY HEAT -- Tualatin sophomore Madison Berggren gets ready to fire a shot at the Beaverton goal in Saturday's state playoff game.The Wolves sure looked ready in the early going of their game with Beaverton on Saturday.

Tualatin took a 1-0 lead just 28 seconds into the contest when sophomore Madison Berggren scored off a pass from sophomore Marisa Lovos. Berggren scored again after taking a long outlet pass from junior goalie Kate McDonnell to up the margin to 2-0 with 5:52 left in the first quarter.

The Wolves kept rolling from there. A pair of goals by Visse and a pair by freshman Zoe Linford pushed the lead to 6-0 with 3:30 remaining in the opening period.

Tualatin closed out the quarter with goals by Berggren, Lovos and Visse to take a 9-0 lead at the end of the period.

The Wolves didn’t score in the second quarter, and Beaverton got a pair of goals in the period to make the score 9-2 at halftime.

Tualatin got back at it in the third quarter.

Berggren scored back-to-back goals off passes from Visse to make the score 11-2 with 2:54 left in the quarter. Tualatin freshman Ashley Elisara scored after coming up with a steal and then she added another goal off a pass from junior Rebecca Walsh to make the score 13-2.

Walsh then scored on a last-second shot to give Tualatin a 14-2 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Tualatin then got goals from freshman Arielle Elisara, Visse and Berggren the final stanza and it wrapped up the 17-2 win.

“That was fun. It’s always fun when you win,” Visse said. “We worked for it. We worked our butts off and went all out. Everyone on the team contributed to this.”

“I’m proud of how we played today,” Deahn said.

Berggren topped all scorers in the game with six goals. Visse added four goals while Linford and Ashley Elisara had two goals apiece.

Later on Saturday, Tualatin had two withstand an early battle with South Eugene to get the win. The teams were tied at 1-1 at the end of the first quarter and they were knotted up at 2-2 at halftime.

But Tualatin took charge in the third quarter. Visse and Berggren each scored two goals in the quarter and Lovos added a goal. Meanwhile, the Timberwolf defense kept South Eugene from scoring in the period, leaving Tualatin with a 7-2 lead going into the fourth.

Senior Abbie Howard had two goals in the final period to help the Wolves close out the 10-2 victory.

Berggren had three goals while Visse, Howard and Lovos each had a pair of goals.

The state title game slated for 5:45 p.m. Saturday.

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