Clackamas no match for Jesuit in OSAA Class 6A girls' soccer final
The Clackamas Cavaliers showed up at Hillsboro Stadium on Saturday night hoping to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the history of Oregon high school girls' soccer.
That's not what happened.
Jesuit's Callan Harrington had four goals and two assists, and Jaiden McClellan scored three goals as the top-ranked Crusaders capped a second consecutive perfect season with an 8-0 rout over the Cavaliers in Saturday's OSAA Class 6A girls' soccer championship final.
Ella Nelson added one goal, Katelyn Duong chipped in three assists, and goalkeepers Mary Votava and Olivia Juarez had one save each as the Crusaders (19-0) clinched their 13th state title and fourth in nine seasons under coach Steve Fennah.
The Crusaders used goals by McClellan in the eighth minute and Harrington in the 21st minute to take a 2-0 halftime lead, and then broke the game open with four goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
"Clackamas is a very good team and we were expecting a real battle," Fennah said. "They obviously caused us problems in the first 15-20 minutes, but we got the goals at the right time and then just built on it from there.
"There's a tendency on a night like this to be a bit nervous and uptight. There's obviously a lot of pressure on them, a lot of expectations, and in all sports, pressure and expectations can be a very difficult thing to cope with. But they've done a fantastic job tonight."
When Clackamas (15-3-1) dropped a 5-0 decision to Jesuit in the Aug. 29 season opener, the Cavaliers talked about wanting another opportunity to face the Crusaders in the playoffs, maybe even in the championship final.
After going undefeated to clinch the Mt. Hood Conference title, the No. 3 Cavaliers opened the playoffs with consecutive wins over Oregon City, Tualatin, and Sherwood, and then knocked off No. 2 West Linn 1-0 in Tuesday's semifinals at West Linn, setting the stage for Saturday's rematch with Jesuit.
"I did think it would be a lot different," Clackamas senior midfielder Ellie Gentry said. "I think our mindset and our mentality was a lot better and I think we grew as a team over the season, but I just don't think we came out and did what we wanted to do."
Banking on back line
Clackamas had talked about investing most of the energy at the defensive end, putting five players on the back line, four others in front of them, and one forward on top, but the plan didn't work as well as expected.
The Crusaders, a team that came into Saturday's game having outscored its opponents 120-1, simply had too much speed, too much skill, and way too much Harrington for Clackamas to deal with effectively.
"We had to play them a certain way, but we kind of got away from that," Cavaliers coach Manuel Martinez said. "Anything in the back, we had to get off of our feet quickly. We didn't do that. We played with the ball in the back too much.
"I don't want to put it on anybody, but that was the game plan. When you don't play that way all year and then you ask them to do that, they've got to be comfortable with how we play."
After Harrington scored her first goal with 19:12 remaining in the first half to give Jesuit a 2-0 lead, the Cavaliers almost cut the lead in half in the 25th minute.
Peyton Fendrich made a strong run with the ball down the right wing and then sent a cross into the 6-yard box where Aidan Brown chipped the ball over the crossbar.
"Just scoring a goal on Jesuit would have mentally put them in a spot that they haven't been in before," said Gentry, who was crashing the goal directly behind Brown. "If we would have scored that one goal, I think it could have been at least a closer game and I think we would have had our heads a little higher."
Things went downhill for the Cavaliers from there.
"When it was 2-0 at the half, that was good," Clackamas forward Kyla Sullivan said. "Then one goal and another goal and another and then people got down and it's just hard to come back from that.
"I wish things could have gone a lot different in that game, but overall we had a good season. It was a great season, actually. A historical season, I guess you could say. But Jesuit is a really good team."
The Crusaders finished with a 21-5 advantage in shots, including a 12-2 edge in shots on goals. They also had 12 corner kicks to Clackamas' five.
"We kind of knew we had nothing to lose, so we were just going to give it our all," said Gentry, one of 12 seniors for the Cavaliers. "I think we played hard and we worked hard, but Jesuit is a good team that's very hard to compete with.
"We put in a lot of hard work in practice and a lot of hard work on days off and it was exciting just being able to be here and make it this far with these girls. I'm happy that I could help the team out and I think we had a good season overall."
Said Martinez: "I talked all year about how we had potential, great potential, and I think honestly we played up to that potential. I don't know how many people weren't counting on us being here. Probably more than thought we would be here.
"It's never good to lose 8-0, so that stings, and we're losing a lot of good talent, a lot of good seniors, so we'll see where it goes from here. But it was a good season. I'm good with how it came out."