Marist withstands four shots in the final two minutes to thwart Newberg's frantic rally and escape with a 9-8 win
Despite putting forth one of its poorest second-half performances of the season and pushing itself to the point of exhaustion, the Newberg girls lacrosse team could not be counted out of its first-round playoff game against Marist until the very last second Monday at Loren Douglas Field.
The Tigers had been held scoreless for more than 32 minutes before senior defender Marta Burchett went end to end, breaking the drought to make it 9-7 Spartans with 6:44 remaining in the game.
Just more than a minute later, Christina Bryan forced a turnover and scored on a clever backhand shot to bring Newberg within one goal, setting the scene for a wildly frantic finish.
After Marist drained four minutes off the clock, during which Newberg managed just one shot, the Tigers unleashed a desperate barrage of four shots in the final 1:45.
The last came off the stick of freshman Olivia Winter following a timeout with just 23.8 seconds left on the clock. Even though it was saved by the Spartan goalie, Newberg was still not out of it.
Shea Terranova somehow managed to collect the loose ball and swung around the crease to her left, but could not manage a shot before time expired and Marist escaped with the 9-8 win.
Im proud of my whole team, Bryan said. Im proud of the way we played.
The Tigers jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first 11 minutes of the game and looked as if they might run away with the contest, but Marist managed to get the next goal three minutes later and eventually climbed to within one goal at 6-5 by halftime.
Newberg then struggled mightily to maintain possession in the second half as it misfired on passes clearing the ball up field, were beaten to most ground balls or just turned it over in the face of pressure from the Spartans.
Marist scored its second goal of the final half with just over 14 minutes to play to go up 7-6 and added two more over the next four minutes to push the lead to three.
The last three games it seems like in the second half, weve been letting people back in, head coach Terry Paskett said. I think its because were not quite there in conditioning.
Assistant coach E.C. Bell also said the teams youth showed in the second half, but so did its heart, especially after Burchett fired up the team with her full-field scoring run.
Bryan, the teams leading scorer, was also visibly hampered by her own stick, which had just recently been restrung and was unpredictable when it came to shooting, as evidenced by several uncharacteristic shots that came out either right at the goalie or sailed just wide.
It wasnt doing what she expected it to do, Bell said. Its an unfortunate reality, but she has heart. She never quit. She was frustrated like nobodys business, but she kept coming.
While Marist advanced to play No. 1 seed Lake Oswego Wednesday, the Tigers have much to be proud of and much to look forward to with just one junior and no seniors among the 11 starters.
We went from having no talent whatsoever, a bunch of girls coming out to play lacrosse because they didnt have anything better to do six years ago and play a sport they didnt know anything about, to making the playoffs and almost winning, Paskett said. Weve gone a long ways in six years. No regrets whatsoever.