The Loyola girls soccer team entered the playoffs as the Division III No. 1 seed, and Lady Flyers coach Mark Matlock stressed focusing on one game at a time.
Now, Loyola doesn’t have to worry about looking ahead.
The Lady Flyers advanced to the state championship game with a 2-1 overtime win at No. 5 Catholic High (New Iberia) Friday night.
“As soon as the whistle blew, obviously the girls were very excited,” Matlock said. “We had a big section of students and parents who came down, so we had a big celebration on the field. The girls were ecstatic.”
Loyola’s Bailey Freeman put the Lady Flyers up 1-0 with a free-kick goal just 20 minutes into the game. Catholic tied the game on a penalty kick following a foul in the box 10 minutes after halftime.
The teams played to the end of regulation still locked 1-1, but Anna Brown put in the game-winner halfway through the first of two 10-minute overtimes.
“We got a turnover, Bailey played a great ball in behind the defense, and Anna was able to run on to it,” Matlock said. “It was a relief, but we still had 16 minutes left to play after the goal. We’ve been strong defensively all season.”
Loyola had expected a defensive game from Catholic and got it. It wasn’t until the overtimes started that the game opened up.
“I think they got a little tired,” Matlock said. “We spent a lot of time attacking their goal, and that wore them down a little.”
The Lady Flyers will play No. 2 seed Sacred Heart, which beat No. 3 University Lab, in the championship game. The teams played to a 2-2 tie in New Orleans on Nov. 17.
“That gives us a little confidence going in, that we know we can play with them,” Matlock said. “We are going to enjoy the victory but come back out on Monday and have a good week of practice and be ready to go.”