The first year in Division IV is going quite well for the Academy of the Sacred Heart girls soccer team.

After reaching the state quarterfinals a season ago in Division III, the No. 9 Cardinals are returning to the state quarterfinals in Division IV after a 4-1 victory over No. 8 Pope John Paul II on Tuesday night in the regional round on a wet field in Slidell.

With the win, Sacred Heart (9-8) advances to take on the top-seeded Loyola Prep of Shreveport.

Leading the way Tuesday was Addie Roemerhauser, who had a hat trick.

“It’s a really exciting feeling to help your team advance in the postseason,” Roemerhauser said. “We knew we had our work cut out for us against a good Pope (John Paul II) squad."

Coming into the game having lost three of their past five matches, the Cardinals got on the board quickly when Roemerhauser got past the Pope John Paul II defense in the fifth minute and struck a ball from the right corner into the left corner of the net, giving Sacred Heart a 1-0 advantage.

"The early goal really calmed me down, I think," Roemerhauser said. "It gave us the momentum we needed. But once (Pope) tied it up, we freaked out a little bit. Then in the second half, (we) played calm and did our jobs to come out of here with a very hard-fought victory.”

Playing most of the first half on the Pope John Paul II side of the field, Macy Hanrahan’s header off of a corner in the 29th minute was nearly the only threat the Jaguars had, which was saved by the Sacred Heart keeper.

Playing most of the first half on the Pope John Paul II side of the field, Macy Hanrahan’s header off of a corner in the 29th minute was nearly the only threat the Jaguars had, which was saved by the Sacred Heart keeper.

Fortunately for the Jaguars, a minute later, sophomore Kylie Milligan tied the game 1-1 when her shot found the back of the net.

Roemerhauser struck again early in the second half when her shot in the 46th minute was misplayed by Jaguars keeper Lauren Jones to give the Cardinals the lead back at 2-1.

Cassidy Lambert made it 3-1 late in the second half and Roemerhauser finished off the hat trick in stoppage time to seal the victory for the Cardinals.

The champions of District 7-IV, the Jaguars finished their season 12-4. The loss by PJP II was their second consecutive loss in the regional round of the state playoffs.

Follow David Folse II on Twitter, @davidfolse.

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