St. Thomas More Girls become second program in state history to win five straight state titles | high schools
The ride for five is over.
For the fifth consecutive season, the Division II women’s soccer season ended the same way – with St. Thomas More celebrating a state title.
The top-seeded Cougars beat No. 6 Lakeshore 4-2 on Wednesday at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.
“It’s awesome,” coach Daniel Underwood said. “They are a deserving class, who have done a tremendous job in raising the standards of our soccer program.”
“It’s an incredible feeling,” said senior striker Raegan Latiolais. “We’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and to finish it by winning a fifth straight state championship is just amazing.”
The Cougars became the second football program in Louisiana to win five consecutive championships, joining the Northshore Girls. Northshore accomplished the feat from 1986 to 1990.
“It’s so good,” said junior Sophia Carrier. “Not only do we work so hard, but we set our standards so high. It is simply an incredible achievement for our program to be able to win the state championship five years in a row.
Carrier, who was tasked with slowing down Lakeshore star Megan Gettys, put on one of the best defensive performances of her career. Gettys, a senior forward with more than 100 career goals, was stifled by Carrier, who was named the game’s MVP.
“Not only did she stop her, but Sophia dominated the whole game and that doesn’t surprise me,” Underwood said.
While she was thrilled to earn the honor, Carrier thanked her team for their success in the game.
“I was shocked when I heard my number,” Carrier said after being named MVP. “I certainly didn’t expect it at all, but it was a team effort. My team slowed the ball down and I just sat down at the end. Without them, I couldn’t have finished it.
The state championship was ninth overall in the STM women’s soccer program.
While the Cougars were solid defensively, their offense was once again stellar. The four goals were scored by different players – Mary-Ainsley Alack, Jaydn Mallory, Latiolais and Brooklyn Babineaux.
Wednesday’s goals gave STM 24 for the playoffs and ended Lakeshore’s scoreless playoff streak. Neither the Cougars nor the Titans had allowed a playoff goal.
Alack gave STM a 1-0 lead (26-2-1) in the fourth minute when she edged Lakeshore goaltender Brooke Mason for a header into the net. Addison Leblanc set up the goal by throwing a cross pass from the right side to the front of the net. Mason tried to catch it, but Alack got there first and headed the ball.
STM extended their lead to 2-0 in the 47th minute when Mallory fired a cross shot from the left side of the field into the back of the net. Latiolais gave STM a 3-0 lead in the 60th minute after Mason came out of the net.
STM’s quest to finish the playoffs without allowing a goal ended when Charlotte Sampy kicked in a Lucy Kent corner in the 61st minute to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Babineaux responded to Lakeshore’s goal in the 65th minute with a goal on a pass from Kate O’Neal to take a 4-1 lead.
The Titans (14-8-4) added a final goal when Ella Schoder scored on a deflection off a Cougars defenseman.
That’s as close as the Titans, who have lost three times to STM in the last four State Finals.
After the game, Underwood was already thinking about next season.
“You know, it’s fun to match the story,” he said. “But next year we want to be able to write history.”