(HAMMOND, La.) — After beating rival Jesuit in the semi-finals, the prominent St. Paul’s soccer team looked to three-peat as division one state champions against the Catholic High Bears. It was their eighth championship appearance in the last 11 years. Before the game began, Coach Sean Moser told the team to focus on their practice points and to attack their back line.
The game started slowly with Ashton Mouton getting a shot at the goal but missing wide right. Later in the match, Axel Henderson had a shot outside of the 18-yard box, missing to the left of the goal. For the remainder of the game, St. Paul’s did not have many open opportunities to put the ball in the net. The game went into overtime with a score 0-0.
With team captains Caleb Nicotri not completely healthy and CJ Paretti hurt on the sideline, St. Paul’s was looking for the game winning goal. Midway through the first 10-minute extended period, Catholic scored on a header on the back post of the goal. As emotions ran high, St. Paul’s pushed more defenders up to attack, leaving creases open for another counter-attack opportunity. Catholic High scored again, stretching the lead to 2-0 and putting the score out of St. Paul’s reach.
Although the Wolves were defeated, they gave their all. Nicotri, who will play college soccer at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, told the younger players on the team, “your time on varsity is going to go quickly, so never take a single practice or game for granted because you will never know if it’ll be your last.”