Dominican defeats St. Joseph’s for girls state state soccer championship game redemption
HAMMOND – No matter what the result Saturday, a new Division I girls champion was going to be crowned.
St. Joseph’s Academy made a state final for the first time while it was Dominican’s second time in a row.
Dominican lost last year’s final in overtime to rival Mount Carmel. Al Silvas and his team would not be denied in their second chance, winning 3-1 at Strawberry Stadium.
The first 10 minutes were owned by Dominican. They put together five really good chances but they were stopped by Greenley Duplantis’ goalkeeping skills.
Whenever Kelsey Major, the game’s Most Outstanding Player, touched the ball, you could feel the crowd liven up waiting for her to do something spectacular.
Duplantis made another three saves, giving all indications that it would take a special shot in order for Dominican to score on her.
Dominican keeper Olivia Icamina was not tested until the 27th minute but even that shot was not much of a challenge.
With six to go before the break, SJA was called with a handball 21 yards out. The free kick was taken by Jasmine Ferrier; on target again but Dominican was denied by Duplantis who sent the ball over the post.
St. Joseeph’s had a chance in the final two minutes of the first half but placed it wide of the target.
Just like the first half, Dominican started putting pressure on Duplantis. One high kick was bobbled but no Dominican players were around to pounce.
Dominican would not make that mistake again. With 35 min to go in the game, Major was able to break away from the back line of the Redstickers, shooting a diagonal ball past Duplantis into the side netting for the first goal.
It opened the scoring floodgates.
One minute later, Duplantis misplayed a ball that landed at the feet of Ella Goings who wasted no time putting the ball in the back of the net to double the Dominican lead.
With 27 minutes left, Major got another opportunity to put a ball on target that was saved.
Seven minutes later St. Joseph’s was able to muster a better attack, but Dominican again matched not only equal energy but physicality as well.
Then a handball call came against Dominican on a ball that went into the torso of a player whose hands were protecting her ribs. It could have been a no call since her hands were not moving, but a penalty was awarded. St. Joseph’s Grace Crifasi converted from the spot to make it 2-1.
Dominican was undaunted.
Madison Trauth was able to take a loose ball on the left side of the box and put in a goal that again gave Dominican a two-goal cushion in the 70th minute. Defensively, Dominican’s players were always well positioned and able to not give up easy shots. The defensive positioning even during the handball call was superb.
Silvas, one of the finest coaches in the state, captured his first state championship. He played for me way back in his high school days at Brother Martin, and I am so proud of him and his career.
With tears of joy this time, he talked to the media postgame while, I know, wanting to scream for joy and dance.
In the nightcap to wrap up the state championships for this year, top-seeded Catholic High captured their second consecutive Division I boys title with a 1-0 win over No. 10 Dutchtown.
James Couhig’s bullet into the upper 90 just four minutes into the match held up thanks to fine goalkeeping by Everett DeBlieaux despite consistent pressure from the underdog Griffins.
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2013 – Present…Head Soccer Coach, De La Salle High School 2007 – 2011…Head Soccer Coach, Archbishop Shaw High School 2004 – Present…Director of Coaching for Soccer Innovations of America 2006…Asst. Head Coach, St. Martin’s Girls Team 2006…ODP Louisiana Staff Coach 1986-2005…Brother Martin High School; Head coach 1986; 1994 -2004 State Champions 2000 2000 District 10 Div. I Coach of the…