METAIRIE — Mount Carmel Academy senior Colette Cobb netted a goal off a perfect cross from junior Brielle Bordes with less than five minutes to go in the Cubs’ state Division I girls semifinal against St. Scholastica.
It was a perfectly executed last-minute score, and the throngs of Carmel fans in the stands at Joe Yenni Stadium erupted into cheers.
The play was nice, but not enough for a win.
Cobb’s tally was too little, too late for the Cubs. St. Scholastica scored three first-half goals en route to a generally dominant 3-1 victory Friday night at Joe Yenni Stadium.
St. Scholastica used speed and skill to exploit cracks in the Mount Carmel defense to score two quick goals, then controlled the midfield and maintained a sturdy defensive bulwark the rest off the way to earn its fifth straight berth in the state title match.
“We had our goal — to get to the state championship — but we’re not done yet,” said Doves junior Abby Childress, who opened scoring with a perfectly placed header in the 18th minute. “I’m so proud of every single one of these girls. We worked our butts off all season.”
St. Scholastica netted what turned out to be the game-winner in the 25th minute when sophomore Brooke Doyle took a through ball from senior Rebecca Beatty and lofted it into the top center of the net.
The Doves secured their win a short time later when the ball pinballed around in front of the Cubs net before sophomore Megan Moser finally poked it home.
St. Scholastica coach Mike Ortner said once his team had gained a scoring cushion by halftime, sealing the game in the second stanza was a matter of making a few strategic tweaks and withstanding an the Cubs’ attack as the clock wound down.
“For the most part, our defense was outstanding,” Ortner said. “My hats off to our defense.”
Over its four playoff games, top-seeded St. Scholastica has outscored its opponents 16-1. The Doves will now shoot for their third state crown in five years and first since 2010 when they face No. 2 seed Lafayette in the championship contest next Saturday at Tad Gormley Stadium. Lafayette defeated No. 3 seed Fontainebleau 2-1 in the other Division I final Friday.
For the fourth-seeded Cubs, Friday’s loss to their rivals concluded what was supposed to be a rebuilding season but turned out to be a surprisingly strong one for the 2012 state champions. Mount Carmel’s unexpected success came to an end after key St. Scholastica defensive plays negated several scoring chances.
“Some people might have called us overachievers,” Cubs coach Pavlos Petrou said. “But this is a team that came together. We took it one game at a time. Nobody gave us much of a chance for anything, but we were in the semis. I’m very proud of this team. I told them they have nothing to be ashamed of.”
Friday’s contest was extremely physical, with the officials calling a very loose game and at times coming close to losing control of the intense battle. The match was filled with non-calls that had fans of both squads periodically up in arms and earned both Ortner and Petrou yellow cards.
But Doves senior defender Lucy Duet said her squad thrives on physicality.
“I love playing physical,” Duet said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. We knew (the Cubs) would be physical, so we had to be physical back.”