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Newberg boys out against Marist


6a lacrosse — The Spartans use an opportunistic offense and aggressive defense to eliminate the Tigers 12-6 May 28 in state tournament play

EUGENE — Newberg proved to have a resilient boys lacrosse team in 2014, coming back from several early deficits to win games.

The Tigers showed their mettle again May 28 in their first-round Cascade Cup first-round playoff game at Marist, coming from three goals behind to take a 6-5 lead midway through the third quarter.

Unfortunately, the Tigers didn’t have much left in the tank after the Spartans fired back with seven unanswered goals the rest of the way to end Newberg’s season in a 12-6 defeat.

“We made mistakes early on and they capitalized on them and took us out of our element,” head coach Brian Wood said. “In the second quarter they pushed us around and ended up leading 5-2 at halftime. That was mainly due to them being very overbearing on defense and we were kind of holding the ball too much.”

Newberg got on the board in the first thanks to a transition goal from defender Zak Nasby and a tally by Eziel Stone, who moved up from midfield to replace injured Eric Wilson on attack, to knot the contest at 2-2 by the end of the first.

After working on adjustments at halftime, the Tigers (10-11) scored four consecutive goals — two by Stone and one apiece by Eric Albin and Kalvi Sokk — to wipe out their scoreless second-quarter performance and Marist’s 5-2 advantage.

“We’re looking like we have things figured out and we know how to handle it, but it’s still going to be a hard game,” Wood said. “We kind of let them get back to their strategy of being real aggressive on defense and pushing us a round a little bit.”

Newberg also lost Stone to injury in the second half and according to Wood, just didn’t have the composure or legs to rally one more time.

“We let them take us out of our game by letting them extend out and play more aggressive than we should have allowed. We should kept the ball moving, moved our feet, and they would have had to change to be more conservative. We couldn’t execute at the speed that we needed to and that we’ve showed we can.”

Led by a strong senior class, the Tigers made great strides in their third season at the varsity level, including a making the Pacific Conference playoffs for the first time in program history by placing fourth.

“It was a really successful season and I think we have the talent to have kept that a much closer game,” Wood said. “But when it came down to it, all things even, we just couldn’t put the pieces together for that game.”