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The Crusaders get two goals and an assist from team captain Drew Pedersen en route to championship win.

PMG PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE - The Jesuit boys soccer team celebrates their state championship with the first place trophy Saturday night, Nov. 12, at Hillsboro Stadium.Leave no doubt.

Not a problem for the top-seeded Jesuit boys soccer team who capped a remarkable season with a dominating 4-0 win over Westview in the OSAA 6A Boys Soccer State Championship Game Saturday night, Nov. 12, at Hillsboro Stadium.

The Crusaders got two goals and an assist from team captain Drew Pedersen, who after the match was more interested in talking up his team's defense than the goal-scoring that led to 10 goals over Jesuit's last two games.

"We scored because our defense played so well," Pedersen said. "We could just pass it around and we had easy goals. Just easy goals."

He's not wrong, after-all Westview managed just two shots on goal during the match. But Jesuit head coach Geoff Skipper had to catch himself when asked about his offense, for he started in on the defensive effort just like his star player.

"We scored those goals because of the team defense," Skipper said. "Here I am talking about the defense when we scored 10 goals over the last two games, but the best two games of our season were the last two games by far. On both ends of the field."

Jesuit got their first goal in the 19th minute when Pedersen finished a rebound from a Nico Hidalgo shot in front of the Westview goal.

They got a second goal six minutes later when Pedersen finished a great run up the right side of the pitch, by crossing a ball to the far post where Noah Hayes was waiting to net the majestic assist.

Hayes credited the team as a whole for his and the other Jesuit goals on the night, but couldn't say enough about Pedersen and his approach to the game.

PMG PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE - Jesuit's Drew Pedersen battles Westview's Diego Garcia Lopez during the two teams' state championship game Saturday night, Nov. 12, at Hillsboro Stadium."He's a team player," Hayes said. "Everyone knows he scores a bunch, but he always goes for the assist and always makes the right play."

Skipper didn't lack superlatives for Pedersen either, but like all great team leaders, the coach said the senior's true value comes more off the field than on it.

"He's a special player and a great team leader, but I've said it a bunch of times, he's even a better kid," Skipper said. "He's somebody the school can really be proud of."

Jesuit's third goal came when Nathan Peters squeezed a ball under Westview goalkeeper Dennis Zimmer in the 50th minute, and their last score came in the 55th minute when Pedersen capped his night with a header off of a Andrew Bomert corner kick.

In all, the Crusaders tallied 12 shots on a goal. An impressive number, but according to their coach a product of something he saw coming midway through the first half.

"Tonight, I just felt like they just had it," the Jesuit coach said. "About 20 minutes into the game I knew they just had it. Everybody brings their best game out against us and these guys got used to that and figured out how to match that."

Obviously, things weren't quite as joyous in the Westview camp following the game, but Wildcats head coach Jon Fresh wasn't having any of the negativity that some might project onto a team on the losing end of such a meaningful game.

PMG PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE - Javier Blas (17) of Westview and Omar Barajas (11) of Jesuit chase down a ball during the two teams' state championship game Saturday night, Nov. 12, at Hillsboro Stadium."We won tonight," Fresh said. "Obviously, the scoreboard doesn't reflect that, but we won two games last year. The run up to tonight was phenomenal and we played some of the best soccer that we've played all season in the playoffs. They're going to wake up tomorrow and it's gonna hurt, but come Monday and Tuesday they're going to be proud of their efforts and realize what they accomplished."

And Jesuit? They too accomplished a lot, and they've got a championship trophy to show for it. Skipper said they earned it, and that they did so the right way.

"This is one of the nicest group of kids I've ever coached," he said. "Just a classy group and they earned everything they got tonight."

No doubt.

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