TIGARD — Now that's the way to start.
The Sherwood and Tigard high school boys lacrosse teams certainly seem to show, right from the beginning, that they're ready to give it their all in 2017.
They certainly put on an entertaining battle in Monday's season-opener.
And, in that opener, the Bowmen came away with a hard-fought 9-8 win over the Tigers in a non-league contest played at Tigard High School.
"We were a little rusty," said Sherwood senior midfielder Jordan Craig, who led all scorers in the contest with four goals. "We shot ourselves in the foot with penalties. We definitely found out what we need to work on."
"It wasn't pretty, but we'll take the win," Sherwood senior midfielder Kayd Aquino said. "It was our first game, and we were didn't expect perfection, but we had way too many penalties. We're capable of much better."
Craig started the scoring in Monday's contest, making good on a running shot from 18 yards out on the right side, putting the ball just inside the right post of the Tiger goal, giving the Bowmen a 1-0 lead with 9 minutes and 19 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
The Sherwood defense, including seniors Sam Criscola and Jacob Forsyth and junior Zane Sands, among others, was able to keep Tigard off the scoreboard for the next few minutes.
However, Tiger senior Daniel Jones, after taking a pass from junior Derek Leitherer, scored n a shot from 12 yards out to tie the game, at 1-1, with 5:28 remaining in the first quarter.
Sherwood answered back. Bowmen junior Owen Grubbe scored on a long-range shot with 3:34 left in the period. Soon after, Sherwood junior Ryan Stuckey stole a Tigard pass and scored a breakaway goal, helping the Bowmen claim a 3-1 lead at the end of the opening period.
Tigard came back strong to open the second quarter. Tiger senior Casey Bauer scored off a pass from junior Jacob Beck to trim the Sherwood lead to 3-2 with 9:19 left in the period.
The Bowmen again answered back, as Aquino scored on a shot from 25 yards out on the right side, pushing the margin back to two, with 7:38 remaining before halftime.
The teams then traded goals before the end of the period. Tigard got a goal by Leitherer, who put in a running bounce shot off a pass from Beck with 3:28 left, and Sherwood got a goal by senior Tanner Ladd, following a steal and pass by Sands, with 1:29 remaining in the quarter, giving the Bowmen a 5-3 lead that they would take to halftime.
Tigard seemed to claim momentum early in the third quarter. Bauer scored off an assist from Leitherer and Jones followed with a goal off an assist from Bauer, tying the game at 5-5 with 8:36 left in the period.
But Sherwood, and Craig, reclaimed that momentum. Craig scored back-to-back goals, both coming on running shots from the right side, to give the Bowmen a 7-5 advantage with 2:39 remaining in the quarter.
Sherwood senior Cameron Allender then scored on a follow-up shot, upping the Bowmen lead to 8-5, which they took to the fourth quarter.
That's where things really got interesting.
Tigard senior Scott Ostrom opened the scoring in the final stanza with a goal from 14 yards out, off an assist by Bauer, trimming the margin to 8-6 with 10:36 left in the game.
Craig followed that with his third second-half goal for the Bowmen, making the score 9-6 with 6:50 remaining.
But Tigard came storming back. Beck tallied back-to-back goals, the first coming off an assist from Ostrom, to cut the Bowmen lead to 9-8 with 2:23 left to play.
The Tigers came close to tying things up soon after, as a shot by Bauer, from 14 yards away, skimmed off the crossbar of the Bowmen goal with 1:56 remaining.
From there, Sherwood's defense came up strong in the clutch. The Bowmen, getting a save by junior goalie Miguel Ramirez, and a steal by Criscola, were able to claim a 9-8 victory.
"It's huge," Craig said of the season-opening win. "It symbolizes what we want to do this season."
"For me, personally, I'm really happy with it," Aquino said. "It's great to start our senior year with a win. We've worked together since middle school to get here."
"We're looking to make it at least as far as we did last year, maybe farther," Craig added.
In addition to Craig's four goals, Sherwood got one each from Aquino, Ladd, Allender, Grubbe and Stuckey in the victory.
Bauer, Jones and Beck had two goals each for Tigard. Ostrom and Leitherer added one goal apiece.
On Wednesday, Tigard was scheduled to host Sheldon and Sherwood was slated to face Beaverton at home in non-league games. Results of those contests weren't available when the Times went to press.
The Bowmen will be back in action on Friday, when they play at Westview in a non-league game starting at 8 p.m. On Wednesday, Sherwood will travel to Tualatin for an 8 p.m. non-league contest.
The Tigers will be back in action on Saturday, when they host Bend at 1 p.m. in a non-league tilt. On Tuesday, Tigard will host Beaverton in an 8:30 p.m. non-league game.