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The Crusaders defeat Lincoln 18-10 and will face West Linn in the semifinals Tuesday, May 31.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Jesuit's Tessa Randall races down the field during the Crusaders' state quarterfinal game against the Cardinals Thursday, May 26, at Jesuit High School.It's never easy, but the Jesuit girls lacrosse team made it look so in a 18-10 state quarterfinal win over Lincoln Thursday night, May 26, at Jesuit High School.

The undefeated and No. 2-seeded Crusaders were led by Piper Daskalos who tallied six goals in the game, along with junior Tessa Randall who Jesuit head coach Lauren Blumhardt said was "critical" on the draw. But in addition to the standout individual play, the home Crusaders' defense was key to the win over a very good Cardinals squad led by Portland League Player of the Year Anna Whitworth and sophomore attacker Eva Thomsen-Marr.

"Lincoln is physical and fast so we knew we had to work hard to keep up with them," Blumhardt said. "Our defense sent the double down low which was essential in stopping Eva Thomsen-Marr."

Jesuit jumped out to an early lead on Lincoln who the Crusaders defeated in triple overtime in last spring's culmination tournament championship game, then watched the Cardinals partially claw back before pulling further away late in the first-half and ultimately cruising to a second-half win.

Blumhardt pointed to her team's protection of the crease as one of the keys to their victory, but also her team's work ethic and teamwork—which she said is off the charts.

"The girls practice as hard as they play which keeps up our idea that 'iron sharpens iron,'" the coach said. "It's essential that our girls help to empower one another so they are teamed up with a teammate throughout playoffs who is responsible on checking in on them and supporting one another as needed. Every day we are getting better and better."

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Jesuit's Sophia Pittelli fights off a Lincoln defender behind the net during the Crusaders' state quarterfinal game against the Cardinals Thursday, May 26, at Jesuit High School.And that improvement has taken them to the state semifinals where they're scheduled to face No. 3-seeded West Linn who defeated Lakeridge in their quarterfinal 9-8. Blumhardt said they'll be ready for the Lions and added that neither she or her team has any intention of letting the pressure of the moment deter them from their ultimate goal of winning a state title.

"Our team goal is to always play through the very last whistle of Oregon High School lacrosse, which would be to fight to play all the way through June 3 (the date of the state title game)," Blumhardt said. "Our team's motto is 'calm is contagious,' which helps us tremendously in high pressured situations."

The May 31 semifinal against West Linn is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Pioneer Stadium in Oregon City.


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