Jesuit jumps Titans with first-half flurry, rolls to 6A semifinals against Mountainside

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit junior Jaden McClellan said the Crusaders hope to continue their strong season to the state title game.

When ten-goal eruptions are met with a slight shrug of the shoulders and an on-to-the-next-one demeanor, something special is truly brewing at Cronin Field.

No. 1 Jesuit is ruthlessly ripping through the Class 6A bracket, outscoring its opponents 28-0 through the first three rounds including a 10-0 shellacking of West Salem on Saturday in the quarters. Three matches in, it's been no contest. The Crusaders are capable of covering the most gargantuan spreads. And they'll still haven't peaked yet.

Senior Katie Duong had a hat trick in the first 15 minutes of the first half against West Salem, displaying her deathly speed and precise power with both feet. A motivated Callan Harrington added a hat trick of her own, punishing the Titan defense for trying to get physical with her. And the next-in-line young stars were on point as well as sophomore Pia Goodell and freshman Naomi Alvarez each added two goals apiece.

"Today was nothing different, we always come in confident, know what we can put on the field and do the job well," Jesuit junior Jaiden McClellan said. "Everyone knows their role on this team. Everyone has talent. We just had to put it all together and put it on the field."

Jesuit (17-0) took 30 shots and scored 10 goals against West Salem, a crazy feat until you look at the Crusaders' goal totals this year. The Crusaders now have 117 goals on the year with most likely two more games remaining. They're cruising but not on cruise control, if you will. The wild scores speak more to Jesuit's respect for its opponents. They're treating each team with civility and devouring them. The competitive edge that one would assume could wane with each passing blowout has stayed razor sharp.

"Individually we've stayed strong mentally," Duong said. "When we lose a little focus, we always try to regroup and we've done a good job of that."

McClellan said once the score ramps up, the Crusaders try to play a little more "creatively" and take more risks. Pattern play has been Jesuit's focus at practice, which has strengthened the connection from the midfield and the forwards. With Mountainside on the horizon, it's going to take an army to beat this Jesuit team.

"We have a target on our backs, but we approach this like any other game: competitive and professional," McClellan said. "We don't underestimate any opponent we play."

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit senior Katie Duong and the Crusaders will take on Clackamas in the 6A state title game.

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