Thursday night wasn’t the first time the St. Louis soccer team had been to the state championship. They’ve won 11 of them going into this season, including last season’s.

But the Saints found themselves in a place they weren’t familiar with — losing.

Top-seeded St. Louis trailed No. 3 E.D. White 2-1 with about 20 minutes to play in the boys Division III soccer state championship at Tad Gormley, despite outshooting the Cardinals 13-7 at the time.

St. Louis knew what they were capable of.

In the span of less than three minutes, St. Louis mounted a two-goal comeback on the Cardinals to win the program’s 12th state championship 3-2 and they did it just the way they planned.

The Saints knew going into the game that their size and physicality in the goal box would be their key advantage to taking down E.D. White on Thursday, so it came as no surprise to them that both late scores came off set pieces near the box.

Senior Joe Manuel started off the comeback with a perfectly placed header off a corner kick from game MVP Nick Cironi in the 62nd minute.

Cironi would once again get in on the action in the 65th minute when he put in a long throw in from Eisner for the game-winner.

Girls

VANDEBILT GIRLS 3, SACRED HEART-N.O.: Top-seeded Vandebilt erased some painful memories Thursday night, and Terriers coach Philip Amedee pinpointed the exact moment his team’s state title run actually began.

“This started last year when we lost to Lakeshore in the quarterfinals,” he said. “The girls were determined that they were going to bring the trophy back to Houma, and they played like that tonight. Time and time again, they answered the challenge, and that’s what we did tonight. This is awesome.”

The Terriers posted three second-half goals en route to a victory over second-seeded Sacred Heart in the Division III girls soccer state championship match at Tad Gormley Stadium.

“It feels amazing,” said Most Outstanding Player junior Grace Champagne, who finished with a goal and assist. “We’ve worked so long and hard all year, so this just feels great. We knew what we had to do in the second half.

“We wanted to score early because it gives us a confidence boast. We felt like we had the game in the first half, so if we put a couple away after halftime, we could win it.”

After a scoreless first half, it took the Terriers (28-3-3) five minutes to score as sophomore Molly Thompson converted a rebound from Hannah Cueno’s initial shot for a 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later, Champagne scored to make it 2-0.