Crusaders also take the boys' crown with another shutout win

When the Jesuit girls soccer team clinched its 4-1 victory over South Salem in the OSAA/U.S. Bank Class 4A state final Saturday, one of the key parts of its celebration was a pi–ata in the shape of a horse.

The Crusaders have been carrying the pi–ata to games all season, waiting for the final when they could celebrate a state title.

'It's just something fun we've had all season,' senior Caroline Dugoni said. 'It's kind of our unofficial mascot.'

The team picked up the horse theme two years ago and also celebrated its win with the cheer, 'Pony power!'

Ponies have strong legs, and that's a key for soccer players.

'It just helps unite us,' Dugoni said. 'And it's fun.'

DYNASTY II: Jesuit's title is its seventh in eight years and comes a year after losing in the final to Centennial. Coach Ken Skipper said an e-mail after the 1-0 loss to Centennial last season spurred this season's success.

Seniors Christy Musser and Dugoni wrote the e-mail, which they sent to their teammates hours after the Crusaders lost to an Oregon school for the first time in seven years.

'It really focused the team on getting back here and winning,' Skipper said. 'The great part is, they did it themselves.'

Dugoni said the e-mail took most of the evening to write but was worth the effort.

'We all made a pact to win this year,' she said. 'And knowing the feeling of losing a final really made winning this year all the more special.

'And it brought some of our fans back, too. That was nice.'

Saturday's two championship games (Class 4A boys and girls) attracted nearly 3,000 fans to Wilsonville High, almost twice as many as last year's finals, which also included both Jesuit teams. Last year's games, though, were played on the same day as the Oregon-Oregon State football game.

MORE JESUIT: The Jesuit boys beat Klamath Union 5-0 to win their third straight title and 10th for Coach Dave Nicholas, who provided some key strategy at halftime.

With the game scoreless and the Pelicans physically matching up to the Crusaders, Nicholas told his players to simply continue with their game plan of being aggressive. The Crusaders spent most of the halftime break warming up with skill drills. On the Klamath side, the Pelicans spent nearly the entire halftime in a motivational team meeting.

Jesuit broke the scoreless tie five minutes into the second half on a goal by senior Alex Salazar.

'Our coach told us to just relax and keep playing our game,' Salazar said. 'We really just needed that first goal to get us going.'

Jesuit went through the playoffs without allowing a goal, outscoring opponents 14-0. The title is the third in a row for the Crusaders, who also won championships under Nicholas in 1986-88 and 1991-94.

FOOTBALL: Jesuit's 49-26 victory over Churchill on Friday night moved the Crusaders into the quarterfinals for the sixth time under Coach Ken Potter. It's only the second time, though, that the school has done that in consecutive years.

Lincoln ran into powerful Lake Oswego in the second round and fell 49-6. The Cardinals were the lone remaining PIL team in the state playoffs. Mike Libby threw a touchdown pass to Jay Darden in the fourth quarter, and William Curl ran for 71 yards as Lincoln finished the season 7-4.

Contact Cliff Pfenning at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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