In a rematch between district rivals — this time with a berth in the state quarterfinals on the line — the St. Paul’s boys soccer team shut out Mandeville 4-0 to advance in the 2019 LHSAA Division I state soccer playoffs in a recent action at Hunter Stadium.
Wolves senior captain Conner Walmsley drew first blood in the 23rd minute when he was awarded a penalty kick. His boot just got by Mandeville goalkeeper Evan Rowland’s outstretched arms for the 1-0 lead.
St. Paul’s stayed in the Skippers’ end of the field for the remainder of the half, but could not capitalize, keeping the score at 1-0 at the intermission.
The Wolves came storming out in the second half and thanks to their tenacious play around the Skipper net were awarded another penalty kick.
In the 53rd minute, Walmsley calmly buried the shot to pick up his second goal of the night for a 2-0 lead.
Wolves junior James Till got into the act in the 55th minute scoring on a shot from 25 yards out to pad the Wolves lead to 3-0.
Two minutes later Walmsley completed the hat trick and gave the Wolves a 4-0 advantage.
“The win feels amazing,” Walmsley said. “We knew we had to stay focused because Mandeville is a good team. We all knew that anything can happen in the playoffs, so we were well-prepared. Our defense did a great job tonight. They always are able to find us when we are open, and that’s a big thing.”
Despite being on the losing side, Rowland had a good game for the Skippers with 12 saves.
“This was the last game of my high school career,” Rowland said. “I’m happy that I got to play with a great group of guys but sad about the outcome. We had a great season and my four years here I will never forget.”
Mandeville finishes the season with a 15-8-2 record.