Soccer and Volleyball: back-to-back titles

Soccer+and+Volleyball%3A+back-to-back+titles

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Gwynne Olson, Staff Writer and Social Media Specialist

 Back-to-back state titles


by Gwynne Olson

 

State championships are a big deal at any school, as they reflect a

team’s skill and dedication. While back-to back state championships are not unheard of at Jesuit, they certainly are not common. Recently, two Jesuit teams have won back-to-back state championships: women’s volleyball and women’s soccer.

The women’s soccer team is known for being premier, but their three consecutive state championships are not just from luck. Every day this season, this team worked hard and pushed each other to get better. With some significant players graduating last year, the team knew this season would be different.

“Coming into the season we were pretty confident we could do really well,” head coach Steve Fennah said. “But we knew it was a new team, with new personalities, and new leadership roles. So, there was a great deal of apprehension but also a great deal of confidence that the new players would step up and get things done.”

The women’s soccer team had a flawless season winning nineteen of their twenty games, their only non-win a tie 0-0 with West Salem. The team scored a tremendous one hundred and six goals, letting in only six.

In the state championship game, the women’s team faced Mountainside, a team who they had previously beaten 6-1.

“Going into a third state championship game was very exciting but at the same time a little nerve racking. We knew that mountainside was a very good team, and that they were going to give us a tough fight,” junior Maddy Koleno said. “As a team we had worked so hard the whole season, and knew if we left everything out on that field at the end of the game we would come home with the win.”

Mountainside came out strong, nearly scoring three times. But Jesuit brought the heat and they brought senior Callan Harrington.

Callan Harrington, a University of Washington commit, is a striker and one of the star players on the team. Coming into the game, Harrington had scored a total of 53 goals during her high school season and would score another two in this championship game.These two goals not only greatly contributed to another state championship but also claimed a new state record for Harrington. The record of most goals scored during a high school season was set in 1990 by Tiffany Milbert and Harrington passed it by one goal

Sophomore Taylor Krueger scored another goal, assisted by Harrington, making the final score 3-0 with a victory for the Crusaders.

“It’s always a great feeling winning a state championship,” coach Fennah said. “People always ask the question ‘does it diminish with time?’ and no it doesn’t. It’s always a new season with new players and new faces, so it is always satisfying when things come together.”

In the last three years, the Jesuit women’s soccer team holds a 58-0-1 record, having only tied a single game. For the second year in a row, the team has been recognized as the number one women’s soccer program in the nation.

The women’s soccer team was not the only team to bring home a back-to-back state championship this year. The women’s volleyball team also came together and claimed a title against Central Catholic.

This year was supposed to be a rebuilding year. The women’s volleyball team dominated last year. With a winning streak of 25-0, they were tournament champions, league champions, and state champions. With a starting lineup consisting of six seniors, the loss was very impactful.

The team did not let their loss shake them. They may have had almost completely new faces on the court, but their work ethic stayed the same.

“During this season it was really fun to see all of the younger players step into these big roles and have such a big impact,” junior setter Alison Buccholz said. “Finishing the season by winning a state championship really proved to ourselves that our hard work paid off and proved everyone who doubted us wrong.”

Going into the state tournament there was no one favored team. Jesuit would face teams they had lost to in the past such as West Linn. Head coach Theresa Zimmerlee wasn’t deterred.

“I always think we can win, it’s just something you have to believe,” Coach Zimmerlee said.

The championship game against Central Catholic was a nail-biter. The Crusaders took the first set 25-21 but Central came right back winning the second set 26-24. The next two sets were just as close ending in 27-25 Jesuit and 25-23 Central. Central may have fought hard, but we fought harder winning the final set 15-13!

Four players from the women’s volleyball team were selected as all state players. Junior outside hitter Maddy Dowdal and sophomore libero Maisie Alexander were selected to be on the second all tournament

team. Junior setter Alison Buccholz and sophomore middle hitter Tess

Masingale were selected to be on the first all tournament team. Tess

Masingale was also selected as the state championship game MVP with

16 kills.

 “I believe you get about 2 weeks to enjoys a state championship, then you begin work for the next season,”  coach Zimmerlee said, “ There are some pretty good teams for next year’s competition. That’s the exciting part, there are no guarantees and you always have to put in the work if you want to be on top”.

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The women’s soccer team at the state championship game, photo courtesy of Maddy Koleno
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The women’s volleyball team after winning the state title, photo courtesy of Tess Masingale