LITHIA — Despite rarely having a full squad for most of the season because of injuries and absences, Newsome came into Tuesday night's match with Durant nearly intact for the first time.
But the Wolves, out of action for almost two weeks, also showed some signs of rust. And after a one-goal halftime lead, Newsome coach Kelly Townsend wasn't happy that the Wolves spent the half peppering balls in front of the net, but had little to show for it on the scoreboard.
"We were dusting the cobwebs off," Townsend said. "The defense was sending (the forwards) good balls, the midfield was sending them good balls. They just couldn't connect at all."
But the Wolves answered in the second half. Senior midfielder Ashley Evers scored one of three second-half goals and assisted on the other two, helping Newsome to a 4-0 win over the Cougars. Samantha Simpson, Kayli Kishel and Karina Gutsche also scored.
Senior goalkeeper Kendall Graham (four saves) tallied a shutout in her first game back after missing nearly five weeks after having her appendix removed.
"We're still not 100 percent, but we're getting there," Townsend said.
The Wolves (17-4), who lost just two nontournament regular-season games — one to Plant and one to Bloomingdale (two other losses came in overtime) — outshot Durant 27-4 and ended the Cougars' six-game winning streak.
In the end, Newsome's experience — the Wolves start eight seniors — was superior to the youth of Durant (9-3-1), which started four freshmen.
"I thought we played better in the second half," Durant coach Dick Sheffield said. "They really should have scored three or four goals in the first half. They just worked harder than we did."