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The top-ranked Crusaders were unstoppable in securing their state championship berth.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lake Oswego senior Sean Ericson (left) and Jesuit sophomore Luke Johnson chase down a faceoff during the Crusaders' 24-5 win in the OHSLA state semifinas at Wilsonville High School on Wednesday, June 1.The Lake Oswego boys lacrosse team believed it could win.

But Jesuit's boys knew that they would.

In the end, the Crusaders were right, blasting out to a six-goal lead after one quarter, extending that edge to 10 at halftime and rolling to a 24-5 victory in the OHSLA state semifinals at Wilsonville High School on Wednesday, June 1.

"We worked for it. This was normal business," said Jesuit junior attack Jack Duncan-Bloom, who led all scorers with seven goals against Lake Oswego, along with one assist. "I think our team, we still have more potential in the tank. We've got to make it happen this year."

"They scored the first goal and that kind of shocked me," said sophomore midfielder Luke Johnson, who notched a 14-4 edge in faceoffs against Lake Oswego. "That doesn't happen very often, so I feel like from there, we felt like we had to play a little bit harder and it really was one of our higher scoring games. I kind of expected this."

With the win, the team's 19th straight, the top-ranked Crusaders improved to 21-1 overall after winning the Metro League. Next up, Jesuit will match up against No. 2 Lakeridge (20-2 overall after winning the Three Rivers League) — a 7-6 overtime winner against West Linn in its semifinal — in the state championship game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at Wilsonville.

"We don't know what they're going to throw at us," said Duncan-Bloom, remembering the Pacers' 11-8 win over Jesuit in last spring's de facto state championship game. "We have to stay focused and we have to be crisp on our sticks. We need revenge."

"I'm very excited for Saturday. It should be a good game," Johnson added. "We are ready. We are very ready."

No. 4 Lake Oswego, meanwhile, lost for just the second time in its final seven games and ended its year at 16-5 overall after placing second in the Three Rivers League. Despite their season-ending defeat, the Lakers were proud of what they accomplished in 2022.

"I think we were just really positive with each other," said Lake Oswego junior attack Alex Kemalyan, who led his team with two goals and added two ground balls and one assist. "Our seniors were great leaders on and off the field (and) we had a great coaching staff."

"We always find our groove later in the season, and once we got a couple of games under our belt, we started (playing) like a team and we were pretty tough to beat," said LO senior attack Gavin McGuire, who added two ground balls and one assist in the loss.

Despite the final score, the Lakers actually scored the night's first goal when sophomore Gunnar Olson connected on a 15-yard shot from the left side of the field just 55 seconds into the contest.

That, however, turned out to be the end of the offensive highlights for Lake Oswego. The Crusaders answered with an 8-1 stretch over the next 8:03 to lead 8-2, with Duncan-Bloom hitting three times in that stretch, while Porter Malkiel connected twice, and Ben Wimmer, Christian Buck and Matt Rincon adding single scores.

Kemalyan scored twice in the opening frame to try and keep his team close, but Jesuit followed up with a 6-2 edge in the second quarter to boost its lead to 15-5 at the half. Duncan-Bloom added three more goals during that stretch and Malkiel two to put LO's hopes on life support.

Jesuit doused those hopes completely with a 6-0 edge in the third quarter that extended its lead to 21-5 at the end of the period. Wimmer, Duncan-Bloom and Bennett Smith hit twice each in that quarter to put the game out of reach.

Indeed, the Crusaders shut out the Lakers for the entirety of the second half on the way to securing their Saturday championship berth.

"That team is like a whole (different) level," Kemalyan said. "We haven't seen a team like that the whole season."

For the game, Wimmer added five goals, Malkiel four and Smith three.

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