Girls' soccer: Jesuit rains on Clackamas season opener, 5-0
Clackamas High School's girls' soccer team was no match for the defending Class 6A state champion Jesuit Crusaders on Wednesday night.
Jesuit's Callan Harrington finished with three goals and Katelyn Dulong and Kari Zimmerman added one each as the Crusaders rolled to a 5-0 non-conference road win, spoiling the season opener for Clackamas.
Zimmerman opened the scoring with a goal in the eighth minute and Jesuit tacked on three more before the end of the first half to all but put the game out of reach.
The Cavaliers played better in the second half, but struggled to create much of an attack and rarely tested Crusaders keeper Mary Votava, who notched her second shutout to open the season.
"Obviously, a really good performance," Jesuit coach Steve Fennah said. "We looked dangerous attacking-wise early on and scored some nice goals.
"I thought we looked really sharp, and Clackamas is a very, very good team that will do very well this year. It was nice to get on top so early and take advantage of the opportunities we had."
The Cavaliers were disappointed that they let the game get away from them in the first half, but they saw enough good things in the second half to think that they're pointed in the right direction.
"I'm never happy losing," Clackamas coach Manuel Martinez said. "I was kind of hoping that the score would stay a little tighter and I was hoping that we'd get at least one goal, but I saw a lot that I had to see.
"When we play teams like this, we probably need to change up our formation a bit. We didn't change it in the second half because we wanted to go forth and learn, making this a learning experience and seeing if we couldn't figure some things out."
Clackamas had to reinvent itself a year ago when the Cavaliers lost seven players with high school eligibility to the Thorns Academy.
Three of those players -- midfielder Emma Anderson, forward Ellie Busik, and midfielder Peyton Fendrich -- are back in the fold as seniors this season, plus the Cavaliers added two other Academy prospects, goalkeeper Hallie Byzewski and midfielder Ellie Gentry, so they're back at the drawing board, trying to get all the pieces to fit.
"We're not exactly used to playing with one another," Busik said. "We were used to the team we had sophomore year when all the Thorns Academy girls were playing, but I think once we get moving, we're going to be pretty good.
"I don't think we were exactly ready to play. We definitely wanted to get a way better outcome, but I think we just need to learn from this one."
Clackamas threatened in the game's first two minutes when Madeline Tetz put a header on goal off a Kyla Sullivan corner kick, but Votava made a leaping save, tipping the ball over the crossbar.
The rest of the first half belonged to the Crusaders, who followed up Zimmerman's goal in the eighth minute with Harrington's first goal in the 21st minute, Harrington's second goal in the 27th minute, and Dulong's goal in the 40th minute.
In the second half, Harrington completed her hat trick with a goal in the 76th minute, while Anderson and Tetz had the two best scoring chances for the Cavaliers.
Not the result the Cavs were looking forward, but they figure there really isn't anywhere for them to go but up from here.
"First half, it was our first time this year playing together," said Clackamas defender Payton Mongelli, who started on the Cavs' all-senior back line with Chloe Benson, Remie Le, and Kori Walters. "Second half, we stepped up and showed how we can play.
"I think we have the potential and the players to win. It's just can we play together? Can we execute? We just have to come together. I'm excited to see just how far we go."
Jesuit, which ran its two-year win streak to 21 games, also may be the toughest team the Cavaliers will face all season.
"Like I told the girls, this game was important, every game is important, but win, lose or draw, it's not our season," Martinez said. "And I'm pretty sure if we work hard and if we get the right break or two, we'll probably see Jesuit again."
Clackamas returns to action Wednesday with a road game against Cleveland and then is back home on Sept. 10 to face Sunset.
"We're still trying to figure things out," Martinez said. "With a team this big -- we've got 22 players on the roster -- I was able to get everybody in that was able to play, so that's another good thing.
"Nobody wants to sign up to play soccer and then sit on the bench the whole game. And, really, I didn't see our quality drop off too much when we went to the bench, and that was really good to see. We'll just build from here."