It took a half, but St. Scholastica showed it is more than ready to defend its Division II state championship.
After a scoreless first half, the second-seeded Doves scored three goals in the span of three minutes to defeat rival No. 77 Fontainebleau 3-0 in the quarterfinals Monday afternoon.
St. Scholastica (19-1-3) advances to take on the winner of No. 3 Dominican and No. 11 Natchitoches Central in the state semifinals. State champions in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2014, the Doves are seeking their seventh consecutive trip to the state championship match.
Less than four minutes into the second half, Megan Moser got SSA on the board with a goal. A minute later, Gabbi Anderson made it 2-0, and in the 46th minute, a header by Megan Whittemore found the back of the net to make it 3-0.
“At the half, we were tied 0-0 and we just kept stressing in the locker room that all we need is that one goal to open it up and take control of the game,” Whittemore said. “We knew if we could get that first goal across, we could start to bunch together goals and take control of the game. All it took was Megan Moser’s goal, and it did what we wanted to. It got us going.
“We just came out with a lot more intensity and heart in the second half and played well. Now we are a game away from playing for a state championship. Everything we have worked for this entire season is before us, and we can go out and do it.”
Moser said the coaching staff stressed increasing the intensity at halftime, and the Doves established did just that.
“Intensity was the top priority because first off we know we could do it and we are capable of doing it,” she said. “We kept saying at the half that we are only playing 40 more minutes, and we are not going any more than that. Just give it everything you go for 40 minutes.
“It was interesting out on the field because after the first half, the nerves were just gone. So that allowed us to just open up our game and go do what we have to do to come away with the win.”
A competitive first half that saw each team put six shots on goal, Fontainebleau’s (15-6-4) best chance came in stoppage time, but Diana Goff’s shot was stopped by Elizabeth Kalmbach.
The first half also featured the ejection of a fan by the officials for arguing a call.