No surprise: St. Paul’s top-seeded in boys soccer playoffs _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER - Jesuit's Chase Rushing and Holy Cross' Austen Bailey battle during a game last month. The Blue Jays are seeded No. 3 in the Division I playoffs.

As expected, the St. Paul’s Wolves earned the top seed in the Division I state boys’ soccer playoff bracket, which was released Wednesday.

St. Paul’s, the state’s top-ranked team and the top-ranked team in at least two leading national soccer polls, will host 32nd seed Alexandria on Saturday. That match will be played at the Wolves’ Hunter Stadium in downtown Covington.

St. Paul’s is the defending Division I state champion.

“It seems like the road through the playoffs may be favorable, but you can’t ever count anyone (out),” said St. Paul’s coach Sean Moser, who has guided the Wolves to a 25-0-3 record this season. “On the other side of the bracket you have Jesuit, Brother Martin, Lafayette, Grace King. But we would have Catholic, Captain Shreve, Mandeville (and) some others if we move ahead. But first, we have to think about Alexandria. There’s no easy road. You have to take one game at a time.”

Acadiana is seeded second in the Division I bracket, with Jesuit, Mandeville, Catholic, Brother Martin, Denham Springs and Captain Shreve rounding out the top eight teams.

In Division II, Beau Chene locked down the top seed, with St. Michael the Archangel coming second. Bolton, East Jefferson, Vandebilt, E.D. White, Ben Franklin, and Neville are the remaining top-8 teams.

Perennial power St. Louis is ranked first in Division III, with University Lab ranked second. Northlake Christian, which has been a force all year is ranked third in Division III. Newman is fourth, with the top eight rounded out by Catholic-New Iberia, Episcopal of Acadiana, St. Frederick and Westminster Christian.

The boys’ state championships will be held Feb. 26-28 at Tad Gormley Stadium.