Tigard girls battle Newberg to a tie
TIGARD — No, it wasn't a win.
But it was the next best thing.
And the Tigard High School girls soccer team will take it.
The Tigers, after trailing 2-1 at halftime, battled back to get a 2-2 tie with Newberg in a Three Rivers League girls soccer match played Oct. 4 at Tigard High School.
"It wasn't a loss," said Tigard senior Gabby McGaughey, who scored both of her team's goals in the contest. "Overall, we played well as a team. We had some adversity, but we stayed together."
Tigard's Tigers moved to 1-3-2 in TRL play (2-5-3 overall), putting them in fifth place in the league standings.
"We had to face some adversity," Tigard coach Justin Holmes said. "But we stuck together. It's been a roller coaster of a season."
With the tie, Newberg moved to 0-4-1 in TRL matches (0-9-1 overall), putting the team in eighth place in the league standings.
"That went so well," said Newberg senior Maggee Hodgdon, who scored both of her team's goals. "That was the best soccer we've played all season. That's how we want to play the rest of the way."
Tigard got off to a fast start in last week's match. The home team took a quick 1-0 lead, when McGaughey scored on a shot from 10 yards out, off a pass from junior Gabby Brown, coming just 1 minute and 32 seconds into the match.
"It was an amazing assist from G. Brown," McGaughey said of the goal.
Tigard, with early momentum on its side, kept firing away. A shot by Tigard freshman Lydia Emory hit the crossbar of the Newberg goal with 37:39 left to play in the first half.
But, suddenly, the visiting Tigers came roaring back.
Hodgdon tied the match, at 1-1, when she scored on a shot from 30 yards away on the left side, with the ball hitting the right post of the Tigard goal, and bounding back to the net, with 35:37 remaining in the first half.
"(Newberg junior) Nataly (Passmore) had a great pass, and I just hit it with my left foot, and it went in," Hodgdon said with a smile.
Following those two quick goals, Newberg faced some adversity, as sophomore goalkeeper Ashleigh Rickert was injured, taking a knee to the head, as she ran out to block an open shot by Brown with 27:18 left in the first half. Freshman Caitlyn Graham took over in goal for Newberg at that point. And, less than a minute later, McGaughey had a close-range shot barely sail over the crossbar of the Newberg goal.
The visiting Tigers countered, getting shots from senior Casey Novak and Hodgdon in the next six minutes.
Then, with 16:36 remaining in the first half, Tigard was whistled for a hand ball in the penalty box. Hodgdon took the ensuing penalty kick, and put her shot just past diving Tigard junior goalkeeper Natalie Carlson, and inside the right post of the Tigard goal, giving Newberg a 2-1 advantage.
"I always hit it in the same spot," Hodgdon said. "I stayed focused, and stayed calm."
Neither team was able to score again in the first half, leaving Newberg with a one-goal lead at the break.
But that quickly changed when play resumed. McGaughey, after taking a pass from senior Kristina Saldana, put her shot from 26 yards away into the upper right corner of the Newberg goal, tying the match at 2-2 with 38:06 left to play in the contest.
Tigard also got shots from Brown, Emory and junior Kelsie Boschma in the second half. But Newberg junior Ashley Morse, who is listed as a midfielder, but played at goalie for the visiting Tigers in the second half of the match, made the save on all of those attempts.
Newberg got shots from junior Abby Durrell and Novak in the final 10 minutes, with Durrell's attempt sailing over the crossbar of the Tigard goal, and with Carlson making the save on Novak's shot, leaving the final score at 2-2.
"When they scored early on, that got us going," Hodgdon said. "We were ready to come back. I knew that we were ready to go at the start of warm-ups tonight."
"They came back hard, and then we came back hard in the second half," McGaughey said. "It was two good teams playing hard."
"We have a lot of upperclassmen that don't have a lot of varsity experience," Holmes said. "It's taking time to mesh."
For the contest, Newberg had eight shots on goal and no corner kicks. Tigard had nine shots on goal and three corner kicks.
At last week's match with Newberg, the Tigard soccer program celebrated the school's Special Needs class, taught by Danielle Johnson. Kids from the Special Needs class got to join the Tigard players on the field for pregame introductions, they got VIP seating at the game and were presented a gift basket by the Tiger players at halftime.
The Tigard girls will next be in action today (Thursday) when they host rival Tualatin in a league match starting at 7 p.m. That match will also be Breast Cancer Awareness night at Tigard High School. On Tuesday, the Tigers will host Canby at 7 p.m.