St. Thomas More earned the No. 1 overall seed in the Division II girls soccer playoff pairings that were released and Cougars coach Daniel Underwood’s team is jelling at the right time.
“I really thought we’d have a couple of leading goal scorers this year, but we’ve had several girls score for us,” Underwood said.
“That is good because you don’t want defenses figuring out one or two players and shutting down your attack. We were hoping for the No. 1 or 2 seed, so we’re pleased.”
Even equipped with the No. 1 seed, Underwood said he understands that Ben Franklin, the three-time defending state champion and the team that knocked out STM last season, is the team to beat.
STM returns only four starters from that team that lost to Ben Franklin last year, but the foursome of Amelia Thibodeaux, Caroline Werther, Kat Whitman and Hailey Zaunbrecher have really brought the younger players along, Underwood said.
“We’ve got a lot of very good players,” Underwood said. “Our young girls needed get experience. We wanted was to give them as much experience in as many different situations as we could and we did a good job of that.”
Underwood said he knows Ben Franklin lost some starters from last year’s team, but two seniors — twins Noelle and Cadie Higginson — have been there for the last three years and said they’re two of the best players in the state.
“They still have two all-state girls,” Underwood said. They’re still going to be a handful.”
Acadiana High is the 5 seed in the Division I playoffs and potentially draws a second-round matchup with St. Scholastica. A tough road for the Lady Rams who would then play the No. 1 seed Byrd in the state semifinals.
If Acadiana wins that game, it would likely meet longtime soccer powerhouse in No. 4 St. Scholastica.
If it wins that one, it would likely meet No. 1-seeded Byrd in the semifinals.
Teurlings draws the No. 10 seed in the Division III playoffs and will play Morgan City in the first round.
Catholic High of New Iberia, Ascension Episcopal, ESA and Opelousas Catholic all come out of the same district in Division IV and all four earn playoff berths.
Catholic earned the No. 1 seed, AES the No. 7 seed, ESA the No. 8 seed and OCS the No. 14 seed.
Those district match ups and familiarities could be a major key later on in the playoff bracket.