HILLSBORO — When it comes to sports, Woodburn High School is known for one thing.
That one thing brought the school back to prominence.
Woodburn’s boys soccer team defeated Wilsonville 1-0 Saturday in the OSAA Class 5A state championship game at Hillsboro Stadium.
It was the Bulldogs’ fourth state championship in eight years.
“It means everything,” said senior forward Anthony Santillan, who scored the game’s only goal in the 35th minute. “It brings a sense of pride back to our school.”
Woodburn finishes the season with a 15-1-2 record and won its final 11 matches of the season.
When the Bulldogs play a home match, what feels like the entire town turns out.
And they were out in full force Saturday to watch Woodburn chase down another title.
It was the eighth time the team has been in the state championship game, by far the most appearances of any sport from the school.
“Our school prides itself on our soccer program,” said Woodburn senior defender Conner Karsseboom. “Everybody cares about the soccer program, you can tell. It just means so much just to win because we’re expected to win. It’s expected now after they won three state championships.
“We wanted to start a new era of winning state championships and it’s very important for our school.”
Woodburn previously won state championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
In the past four years, the Bulldogs were in the state semifinal round each time and lost in the state championship game in 2014.
But this year’s team was different.
A strong group of seniors that have been playing together a long time.
What was more important than the individual talent is how fit together well to make a unit.
“This is our first four-year group together with them as freshmen,” fourth-year Woodburn coach Stan Baker said. “We’ve been close. I think we play more of a team game even than we have. We built this around a specific game model, where everybody knows their role, what to do in certain moments and critical situations of the game.
“The past four years 10 of the 11 starters were with us most of that time, so they understand what’s expected and what to do in the critical moments. More leadership, maybe, but overall more of a team game even.”
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com or Twitter.com/bpoehler