Nearly 11 months ago, St. Scholastica’s soccer team defeated Mt. Carmel in the Division I girls’ state championship.
In a preview of what could be a rematch of that title game, the teams met again on Wednesday — this time in a nondistrict contest at Pan American Stadium.
But any decision on who is better this season will have to wait. That’s because the perennial powerhouses played to a scoreless tie Wednesday.
Both teams were among the best in the state and among the best in the U.S. coming into Wednesday’s match. St. Scholastica was ranked first in Louisiana and 10th nationally in the Maxpreps.com rankings. Mt. Carmel was third in the state and 14th nationally on the same list. They are the top two teams in the LHSAA Division I power rankings as well.
The parity showed, as neither team could seize momentum, much less score.
SSA (7-1-2) did outshoot Mt. Carmel (9-0-6) by an 11-5 margin.
“It’s hard for us being that this was a tie and not a win,” SSA senior captain Samantha Vercher said. “But we did have some good chances. We had some good play off the ball.”
So did Mt. Carmel, but it too came up short of scoring, despite a couple of last-minute looks.
“We wanted to see how we matched up with them, and this could have gone either way,” Mt. Carmel coach Pavlos Petrou said. “We both had some chances. But nobody could get take advantage, really. It was weird, because the chances were there.”
Both clubs eased into the flow of the game, but eventually the offensive attacks ensued. In the ninth minute, the Cubs knocked a through ball that crept toward the goal, but that advance was stopped.
SSA answered with two shots on goal in the 11th minute, following a free kick just outside the Mt. Carmel box. One ball was deflected and the other sailed high, though, and the match remained scoreless.
SSA’s best look on goal during the half came in the 31st minute when Mary Ella White moved through the left side of the Mt. Carmel box and edged a shot to the goal. That shot was stopped, as was a subsequent long-distance attempt by Mt. Carmel.
The pace picked up in the second half, and both teams traded trips into opposing territory. The best looks came during the 59th minute when Vercher found a seam in the Cubs’ box and had an open look at the net. Her attempt was pushed right, though, and Mt. Carmel dodged a bullet.
SSA missed again when Sydney Vincens slid a shot wide left in the 70th minute, and in the 72nd minute when Taylor Lambert bumped a close range shot high of the mark. Mt. Carmel had its own chance in the final minute, but Maddy Murret’s shot couldn’t find the net either.
MCA senior goalie Sam Bourgeois said both teams are “different” squads than the ones that reached the finals last year. But she said it’s quite possible they could meet again when the playoffs begin next month.
“Games like this, there’s a rivalry and a fire that gets everyone going,” she said. “I think we’re headed in the right direction.”