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Clackamas gives the undefeated Thurston Colts a run for their money in the Cavaliers first state final

The Clackamas Cavaliers proved Saturday afternoon that they were without question one of the top girls soccer teams in the state in 2012, as they gave the third-ranked Thurston Colts all they could handle in the Class 6A state final of the Oregon high school championship playoffs.

Thurston won the final 2-0, but it was still a 1-0 game until Thurston put a second ball in the net with just 2-1/2 minutes left to play, when the Cavaliers were pressing.

“We play with a ton of heart,” Clackamas senior co-captain Sam Moultrie said. “We never give up in any game. When we played Lakeridge [an overtime win in the semifinals], we were down 2-0 with 20 minutes left.

“We never give up. That’s what I love about this team. We play with such heart and passion....”

In Saturday’s final, both teams had several chances to score in an intensely played game. The official game stats had the Cavaliers with 17 shots, 12 of them on-frame; and the Colts with 18 shots, nine of them on-frame.

The Colts went up 1-0 just 12 minutes in the contest when Thurston senior Aliyah Gallup got lucky, scoring on a ball that deflected off a Clackamas defender — just out of reach of Clackamas goalie Jade Haehlen — and into the net.

The Cavaliers nearly countered just minutes later, but Thurston junior keeper Lindsey Mabinuori was in the right place to make saves on dangerous assaults by Clackamas senior Claudia Flores and by Cavalier sophomore Cassie Haehlen. Rebounding her own saved shot 17 minutes into the game, Haehlen sent her follow-up shot just wide.

Haehlen came close again 15 minutes into the second half, when Mabinuori made a foot save. Haehlen followed up that save with another shot that was deflected away by a defender.

Haehlen had five shots in the game, four of them on frame.

Senior co-captain Sam Moultrie challenged Mabinuori with three shots on frame; Mabinuori had to make two saves on shots by Clackamas senior Tori Roberts.

It was the first state final for both Thurston and Clackamas.

With the win, the Colts finished the year with a 17-0-1 record, shutting out 14 opponents along the way. The Colts allowed 18 opponents just six goals, while recording 14 shutouts.

Clackamas, the runner-up to Lakeridge in the Three Rivers League, finished 11-5-2 with the loss.

It’s the Cavaliers’ best season since 2010, when they lost to Jesuit 2-0 in the semifinals.

“We accomplished a lot,” Moultrie said. “When we came out at the beginning of the season, we said our main goal was improving. And we improved every step of the way. We improved in every game....

“I’m so proud of the team. Our coach is amazing. She pushed us at every practice. And the team pushed each other.

“It’s a great way to end my senior year — at this field, and taking second in state. It’s not first [place]. But you know what — We made it this far, and I couldn’t be happier.”

“It feels amazing [to make the finals and make school history],” senior Tori Roberts said. “I knew we’d do it, but I never thought it would feel like this. It feels amazing!”

Things look bright for the Cavaliers in the future. Moultrie, Roberts, Summer Mohr and Claudia Flores were the only seniors on this year’s 22-player state-playoff roster.

Rounding out the roster were: juniors Yasmeen Ramos, Holly Hunt, Stephanie Welborn, Kaitlyn Reiner, Anna Edgerly, Courtney Cox and Alisa Sandgren; sophomores Jade Haehlen, Erika Shaw, Riley Mitchell, Alli Dickey, Mckenzie Giancola, Sammy Haehlen, Sarah Jones, Anna Daul, Cassie Haehlen and Nadine Shaw; and freshman Alaina Edgerly.

“It’s tough now, with the loss,” Clackamas coach Aimee Mansoor said. “But when you look back at what the girls have accomplished and what they have achieved, it was a pretty amazing year. We took it as far as we could. We definitely left it all on the field tonight. From the first day [of the season] to the last day, it was an incredible journey....

“I knew I had a special group coming into the season, and it goes beyond talent. I could tell by their personalities, their character, and their drive.... It was a special team that was going to go far.”

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