The unstoppable dynasty in the soccer and volleyball landscape: The Jesuit Crusaders. The dynasty that has shattered so many dreams, rolled so many teams, and just dominate every living thing in their path like a nuclear bomb. As it currently stands, their volleyball team hasn’t lost a non-tournament game since September 19th, 2019 against Mountainside. Further, they haven’t dropped a set outside tournament play since April 6th against Central Catholic, and have won the last two state championships.
Flipping over to soccer, they currently ride a 76 match unbeaten streak stretching back to November 4th, 2017. They also hadn’t allowed a goal since 2019 before allowing a goal to Tualatin last Thursday and Lakeridge on Monday night. They’re the odds on favorite to win the state title again, along with being ranked in the Top 5 nationally among America’s best soccer programs. With these types of success, its clear why they sit in the crosshairs of every team in the state, with each one hoping to be the one to snap the streak once and for all. So what are the odds?
Both programs have shown signs of vulnerability in past weeks, and its an encouraging sign for the rest of the state that Jesuit isn’t immortal to failure and that you can indeed defeat them. Lincoln and Lakeridge, two programs with strong defenses and decent offenses, have both found high success against the Crusaders even without picking up a dub. Lincoln tugged with Jesuit to a 1-0 loss, while Lakeridge scored on Jesuit before faltering 2-1 in a massive battle. Tualatin even managed to score on Jesuit, the first team to do so since Mountainside in 2019, so we know that its doable and possible to beat them.
For volleyball, there’s less for the state to work with but we can takeaway some things this season. They’re big and talented, there’s no doubt about that. If you let them intimidate you, then they’ll just stomp you into the ground. So it requires a special kind of team to have the mental toughness to not only be unafraid, but to have the durability and perseverance to take three sets from this squad. Crescent Valley did it, they’re the only team to take a set from them. 4A’s Philomath and Valley Catholic took Jesuit deep into sets, scaring them and almost taking a set. Can Central Catholic do it? How about West Linn? They’re the two odds on challengers out of the state, and if anyone has the talent to defeat them, its definitely these programs. The question is….do they have the mental toughness and durability to go the distance?
Its more likely than not that someone snaps Jesuit’s soccer streak compared to the volleyball streak, just due to the unpredictability of soccer and the ability of a defense to hold them to a goal or less. All it takes is two opportunities in a 1-0 game or one opportunity in a scoreless game to take the dub. Both programs are the odds on favorites and the top of their class, but we’re starting to see signs that in fact Jesuit is beatable. Who will do it? When will it happen? Will it matter? All unanswerable questions as the state continues their manhunt of public enemy number one in the soccer and volleyball landscape, the Jesuit dynasty.
Footnote: Header image is from Jesuit Athletics!