Pope John Paul II girls soccer coach J.B. Mahoney hadn’t seen his daughter Jessie in several weeks.
That’s understandable — she’s been busy playing at Belhaven University in Mississippi.
But just like Jessie, the Jags showed up on Friday night.
Pope John Paul II defeated Northlake Christian, 4-1, in a Division IV, District 5 game on a frigid Friday evening at Northlake Christian near Covington. The win clinched another district title for PJP.
As the Mahoneys reflected at midfield following the Jaguars’ win, Coach Mahoney said he feels his team has a good chance to win yet another Division IV state title — the last one coming when Jessie was on the field for PJP in 2014.
This, all after PJP II (13-2-1, 4-0,) fell behind by an early goal against district rival Northlake.
“We had the wind in our face in the first half,” said J.B. Mahoney after the game.
“The wind was a huge factor, but that was a great team. And it was a great job by our team; especially on the turf. The ball if it’s not on the ground, it’s hard to control.”
Northlake (9-9-2, 2-2,) gained early momentum with a score in the fourth minute. Malia Cazalot found a hole along the right side of the PJP box, and punched a shot into the center of net to give the Wolverines a 1-0 early margin.
Neither team could do much of anything offensively through the next 20 minutes, though Northlake did keep pressure on PJP II. The Wolverines outshot the Jags 4-0 through the first 22 minutes of the first half, which was a bit of rarity, considering PJP’s offensive potency this season.
Then PJP II found its hallmark.
Junior forward Marlena Cutura, a verbal LSU commitment, gathered a ball well above the NCS box and whirled for an attempt. Her shot found the back of the net, and that ball evened the score at 1; which was the look at halftime.
Cutura struck again in the 67th minute when her team needed her most. She spun in the box, and zipped a left-footed ball to the net to give PJP II at 2-1 lead. Kylie Milligan added a score in the 69th minute to make the game 3-1. Brooke Cutura scored later in the half to give the Jaguars their final margin.
“Today was very hard, it was frozen out there,” said PJP all-state defender Rachel Edwards.
“We were in pressure-cover basically, for the whole time, so being able to shut them down after a while was nice.”
Northlake Christian boys 8, Pope John Paul II 0: The Wolverines fought to a 3-0 halftime lead, and defeated the Jags in a Division IV, District 5 game in Covington on Friday.
Nathan Pearl, Kaleb Newton, and Jake Lewis scored in the first half to set the margin.
Pearl scored three times again in the second half, and Clayton Gill scored as well.