Mention the words “final four” and sports fans always think about a basketball tournament. However, a group of local high school soccer teams will go on the road, looking to to change that perception this weekend.
The defending Division III girls champion University High girls and three boys teams — Division I St. Amant, Division II Woodlawn and Division III U-High — are all scheduled to play semifinal contests this weekend.
At stake for all the teams is a berth in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA soccer tournament set for Feb. 20-23 at the Louisiana-Lafayette.
“This never gets old,” said U-High girls coach Melissa Ramsey, whose team beat E.D. White 1-0 in the quarterfinals. “I’m so happy for this group. We don’t have any superstars on our team. This is a group that likes each other and plays together so well. That quarterfinal with E.D. White was so competitive and fortunately, we were able to get that one goal.”
It will be Teurlings Catholic times two for UHS. The third-seeded U-High girls (18-4-4) kick off semifinals weekend at No. 2 Teurlings (19-2-3) at 6 p.m. Friday. The second-seeded U-High boys (19-2-3) host TCHS (14-3-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday.
All three boys teams play Saturday. There is a common thread for fourth-seeded St. Amant (20-3-1) and No. 7 Woodlawn (17-5-1) since both teams travel to the north shore for their semifinals.
Woodlawn plays at No. 3 Lakeshore (22-4-2) in Mandeville at 3:30 p.m., while St. Amant meets top-seeded St. Paul’s (18-0-3) at 7 p.m. in Covington.
It is the first semifinal appearance in school history for the St. Amant boys soccer program. Woodlawn earned its first semifinal berth since 2016 with a 2-1 victory over No. 2 Neville on Tuesday night in Monroe.
“We’ve had some bad breaks and some tough draws over the years,” Woodlawn coach Andrew Barnes said. “The good thing about this group is that they’ve been in the playoffs before and were freshmen when we went to the semifinals. They understand what the playoffs are about.”
Defense was the key to the U-High girls’ 1-0 quarterfinal win over E.D. White Catholic played Monday. Ramsey said first-year center-back starters Eryn Kennedy and Mia Hau helped lead the defense.
The Cubs lone goal came after a shot by Madison Bauder bounced around and off an E.D. White defender before going into the net.
Jacob Barnes and Jakobie Davis scored the goals for Woodlawn in its win over Neville. Davis’ goal came on a header that followed a throw-in by Barnes.