The St. Scholastica Doves, the top-ranked team in the Division I girls’ state soccer poll, showed why they have earned that distinction in a Division I, District 6 match against Mandeville on Tuesday.
The Doves overcame a 2-0 deficit in the first half and scored six consecutive goals. The comeback helped SSA take a 6-2 home victory against the third-ranked Skippers.
St. Scholastica, which has reached six consecutive state championship games and also won the Division I title last year, improved to 11-1-2, 2-0. Mandeville fell to 19-4, 1-1.
Courtney Robicheaux, the Doves’ senior leader, scored the deciding goal in the 53rd minute. It was a dagger in the heart of Mandeville’s chances.
Robicheaux outraced the Mandeville defense up the right side and booted an easy shot to the far post from about 15 yards. Her aim was true, and the goal put the Doves up 3-2.
SSA scored three more goals after that shot to pull well ahead of the Skippers.
“Being down 2-0, we had to regroup and find our game,” said Gabbi Anderson, who scored three goals for the Doves. “We were out of rhythm, and we had to come back and show our game.”
Mandeville put the Doves in an early hole when in the third minute, Danielle Tyler broke up the middle of the field and drove into the SSA box. She pushed a pass to her left toward Michaela Dubroc, who bumped a shot into the SSA goal and gave the Skippers a 1-0 lead.
Mandeville was not finished with its early offensive flurry, however.
In the seventh minute, Lauren Fayard knocked a rebound into the SSA goal to make the score 2-0.
Not used to trailing, much less by two goals, SSA had to recollect and answer. They did in the 27th minute when Anderson drilled a put-back from the center of the Skippers’ net. The score, off a free-kick rebound, closed the deficit to 2-1.
That’s how the first half ended. SSA’s late push on offense allowed them to outshoot Mandeville 8-4 in the first half. SSA continued to stay on the offensive in the second half. They outshot Mandeville 12-1 in the half and 20-5 in the match.
“We picked it up, especially in the second half,” said SSA coach Mike Ortner. “It’s a character-building moment to be able to trail by two goals and come back and find the game you want to play.”
In addition to Anderson’s hat trick and Robicheaux’s score, Sami Vercher and Maggie Otillio scored for the Doves.
ST. PAUL’S 3, MANDEVILLE 1: The Wolves jumped to a 3-0 halftime lead and held on for a win against the Skippers in a Division I, District 6 win at Hunter Stadium in Covington.
St. Paul’s (21-0-3) is the top-ranked Division I team in the state. Mandeville is ranked in the top 10 in the same poll.
The Wolves got two goals in the first half from Eric Guin and another by Joe Tanner.
Mandeville scored its only goal in the 61st minute when Chase Erickson fired off a shot on a Parker Pastorello assist. The ball found the net behind the near corner to close the gap.
St. Paul’s tightened its defense after that, however, and didn’t allow another shot on goal until the final horn sounded.
Mandeville dropped to 13-2-2 with the loss.
“This is a huge rivalry for us, and to win really is a good win,” Guin said. “Teams like (Mandeville;) that’s why we play. We want to beat them and keep coming out strong. Coach told us it was important to come out early and strong against them. We’ll use this to keep moving forward.”