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The Crusaders took care of Central Catholic on the boys side while the girls dispatched Cleveland to stay unbeaten.

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Jesuit girls soccer's Mariane Dunne, right, takes a shot against Cleveland during the quarterfinals of the 6A state tournament Nov. 5, 2022, at Jesuit High School.They're the No. 1 seeds for a reason.

Jesuit High School boys and girls soccer each dispatched a Southeast Portland squad in the 6A state quarterfinals Saturday, Nov. 5, with the Crusaders winnings both matches 3-0.

Up first was the boys taking on rival No. 9 Central Catholic and the Crusaders had to grind to the end of this one, with the final score not quite reflecting the difficulty of the match.

The Crusaders dominated possession, but a Rams backline that only gave up eight goals all season coming into the match pushed Jesuit out of the box and out of sync on offense.

It took until the 69th minute, when senior Drew Pedersen ran to the left side, drawing Central Catholic goalkeeper Quinn Sappington out, ending with Pedersen tapping the ball over to the right and tucking it into the bottom corner.

From there, with the Rams pressing for an equalizer, Jesuit added two more goals, both from senior Noah Hayes to close out the match in the final 10 minutes and advance to the semifinals, where it will play No. 12 Gresham.

"That wasn't our plan by any means," Jesuit coach Geoff Skipper said. "I was proud of them. We had a lot of chances in that second half and we finally put some away. Really proud of the forwards and the midfielders because they did exactly what we're trying to do."

What the Crusaders did was dominate possession and force the Rams' back row to eventually wear down and open up the gates for some goals.

While the Rams were sent packing, there is nothing for them to hang their heads about from the 2022 season, especially their back line anchored by senior Bo Robertson.

"Our outside-backs, our center-backs, Nate (Ernst), Hayden (Stanford), Graham (Chandler), Benji (Anctil), they all just gave 100% effort every single tackle, every single play," Robertson said. "We tried our best to stay connected and do our best as a back line. We only held it to 11 goals all season, that's something to be proud of."

For Pedersen to find the net and lift the Crusaders to the semis, it couldn't have happened to a better person in the eyes of Skipper.

"The biggest thing about Drew that I have to say is that he's a better kid than he is a soccer player, and he's a heck of a soccer player," Skipper said. "He's a great leader, the kind of guy that you want on your team. You never have to worry about leadership when he's out there. He's just a great character guy around school, too."

{img:348935Up next is No. 12 Gresham, who took out No. 4 South Eugene 1-0 in overtime. The Gophers come in with a six-game win streak and are the Mt. Hood Conference champions.

Of course, that's no match for the streak the No. 1 Jesuit girls soccer team is on, which is 17 games at a perfect 17-0 mark after taking down No. 9 Cleveland 3-0.

The Warriors dominated the first 20 minutes of the match possession wise, but an incredible, bending shot from freshman Mariane Dunne in the 20th minute broke the ice.

Seven minutes later, sophomore Hanna Slama found the back of the net off a rebound from a Crusaders free kick that sailed in on goal.

Slama slammed one home in the 75th minute to put the game to bed, giving her two goals in the match and six in the Crusaders' last four games despite being primarily a defensive midfielder all season.

"Hanna has really come along this season. She's always done well defensively and energy-wise she's a different class, but she's added a goal-scorer now," Jesuit coach Steve Fennah said. "She just provides so much energy in the midfield … she's done excellent."

PMG PHOTO: AUSTIN WHITE - Jesuit girls soccer's Hanna Slama, right, battles for the ball against Cleveland during the quarterfinals of the 6A state tournament Nov. 5, 2022, at Jesuit High School.The Crusaders also came into the match as the No. 3-ranked high school team in the country, according to the most recent rankings from the United Soccer Coaches.

Those national rankings are similar to where Jesuit was last year when it was shocked in round two of the state tournament as the No. 1 seed by No. 16 Forest Grove.

Now in 2022, the Crusaders are looking to use that denial from last year as fuel to get back into the title match.

"It's just giving us motivation," Slama said. "We want to be better, stronger, and so far we have been. We're just going to continue that the rest of the season, hopefully through next week."

Fennah has seen how much the loss from last season hurt the players in his program, and 2022 has provided a chance for the Crusaders to get back to what they know best: competing for state titles.

"We had to reestablish the culture a little bit after, not so much the group of players, but just the fact of COVID," Fennah said. "We haven't had the leadership passing on the message to each other. In the case of reestablishing culture, these guys have bought in and we've had good leadership from the older players. And they're definitely a talented bunch as well."

The Crusaders draw No. 5 Tualatin and will play at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, with a spot in the state title game on the line, which will be played Saturday, Nov. 12, at Hillsboro Stadium.

With potentially two more matches left in the season, Slama hopes her and the rest of the team can slam the door on their next two opponents.

"I don't know much about (Tualatin), it's going to be a tough opponent," Slama said. "Everyone is good. We're just gonna have to bring out our best."


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