So just how good was this year’s St. Paul’s soccer team that won its second straight Division I title Saturday night?
Well, let’s just put it this way.
It’s now March.
The last time someone scored a goal against the Wolves was early January.
If you can’t score on ’em, you sure ain’t gon’ beat ’em.
And nobody did this season.
Thirty wins. No losses. And three ties (one to Division II champion Vandebilt Catholic and the other two to out- of-state foes).
There are some who will debate if they are the best team to come through Louisiana.
What shouldn’t be debated is that this year’s team at least belongs in that conversation.
They simply dominated, outscoring their opponents this season by a mind-boggling score of 121-9.
The last three of those goals came Saturday against tradition rich Jesuit, a program that has won more state championships than any other team in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long to see that the Division I championship, unlike Division III and II on Thursday and Friday, wasn’t going to need any overtime or PKs.
St. Paul’s scored the only goal it would need when Barrick Roberts scored in the 14th minute. That was plenty for a Wolves team that hasn’t given up a playoff goal since surrendering one to Captain Shreve in the 2014 quarterfinals.
This season, you’d have to go back 19 games to find the last time someone was able to find the net against St. Paul’s.
Even when Jesuit looked like it was going to score late, Wolves’ senior keeper Colin Hanley came up with a stop that was SportsCenter worthy.
“It wasn’t just me,” Hanley said. “It’s just about doing the little things right. We do the little things right and the big things take care of themselves. My defense is probably one of the best in the state, and the offense has put up some amazing goals.”
Perhaps none more amazing than the rocket shot off the leg of Eric Guin in the 45th minute that gave St. Paul’s a pretty insurmountable 2-0 lead.
Roberts, who had to sit out last season after transferring from Fontainebleau, added a third goal late to give St. Paul’s it second straight 3-0 victory in a championship match after beating Grace King 3-0 last year.
Need more proof of how good this team was?
Before last season’s shutout over Grace King, you’d have to go all the way back to 2007 to find a shutout in the Division I championship match.
And also before last year, you have to go back to 2002 to find the last time a Division I match was decided by more than two goals.
Now the Wolves have posted back to back 3-0 title game wins, blowouts by soccer standards.
So how does this team compare to some of the past St. Paul’s teams?
“The 2011 and 2012 teams were good,” Wolves coach Sean Moser said. “But we are way deeper, so this could probably be the best team I’ve coached.”
Matt Millet, who coaches at Holy Cross and has also coached club soccer since the late ’90’s, was among the large Tad Gormley crowd watching St. Paul’s complete its season.
“They don’t have that one superstar, but the whole team is really solid,” Millet said. “They are the standard right now.”
And not just in Louisiana.
St. Paul’s is currently ranked No. 2 nationally by MaxPreps and spent time at the No. 1 spot.
Moser won’t argue with that.
“I think we can beat any team in the country,” he said.