Soccer: Rummel shocks Jesuit to end long drought

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With the exception of 2021, the highest level of boys soccer in Louisiana has been controlled by Jesuit and St. Paul’s.

In 2021, Catholic of Baton Rouge broke the stranglehold of the Blue Jays and Wolves, defeating St. Paul’s 2-0 in the Division I state championship match.

Prior to 2021, either Jesuit (5) or St. Paul’s (7) won the previous 12 state titles.

This year, Catholic rates a solid chance of repeating while programs like Alexandria, St. Amant, Sulphur, H.L. Bourgeois, Captain Shreve, Dutchtown, Northshore, Brother Martin, Mandeville and Grace King could figure in the mix with Jesuit and St. Paul’s.

The Blue Jays entered Wednesday’s match with Archbishop Rummel unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the LHSAA Division I power rankings and in the Louisiana High School Soccer Coaches Association rankings.

Jesuit has dominated virtually everyone not named St. Paul’s since the turn of the century.

Overall, Jesuit has won 11 state titles.

One school that the Blue Jays have dominated is Archbishop Rummel.

Jesuit had not lost a match to the Raiders since 2004.

The streak is over.

The surging Raiders extended their streak to eight matches without a loss with a surprising, if not shocking 2-1 victory Wednesday evening over the Blue Jays at Pan American Stadium.

The Raiders jumped up 1-0 in the first half on a goal by senior Eric Ochoa on a penalty kick about 20 minutes in and extended the lead to 2-0 as Ochoa scored again in the second half.

“It was an awesome performance by Eric,” Rummel coach Julio Paiz said. “Our keeper, sophomore Carson Campbell, came up huge when he needed to.”

Jesuit scored its goal very late in the match but it was not enough.

“This is a huge win for this program,” Paiz said. “We felt strongly that we could win by just doing what we’ve been doing all season which is to focus on the process and not the result, we had a chance. It happened.”

Paiz understands what it takes to be an elite program and to win a state title, having won a championship at St. Martin’s Episcopal, along with leading the Saints to four state runner-up finishes.

For Paiz, it is about finishing something he started.

Paiz served as the head coach at Rummel from 2008-2011.

Exactly 10 years later, Paiz returned to guide the Rummel program prior to this season.

“To be honest with you, I felt like I had some unfinished business and it was the reason why I came back and this time around, I really, really wanted to devote myself a thousand percent to the program and do everything it takes to try to get this program to be successful and enjoying the support from the administration,” Paiz said. “I’m just so happy that we have been able to be as successful as we have to this point.”

With the huge win, Paiz and his players believe they can compete for a state title.

“We truly feel that way,” Paiz said. “We are taking it one step, one game at a time and we took this game as an experience of what it’s going to be like the rest of the way. We feel every game is going to be like this. It’s a good booster for us mentally as we get nearer to the playoffs.”

Rummel (14-4-1) will play another tough match Saturday at Mandeville at 7 p.m. while Jesuit (11-1-4) has a tough match Saturday morning with Grace King.

Area Prep Soccer Results from Wednesday, Jan. 5

Boys
Archbishop Rummel 2, Jesuit 1
Brother Martin 8, East St. John 0
Chalmette 2, Higgins 1
Fontainebleau 9, Woodlawn (BR) 1
Holy Cross 9, De La Salle 1
Houma Christian 3, Riverside Academy 1
Lakeshore 8, Salmen 0
Northlake Christian 8, Slidell 0
St. Paul’s 5, Bonnabel 2

Girls
Archbishop Hannan 3, Episcopal 0
Bonnabel 3, Chalmette 0
Destrehan 6, Pearl River 0
Lakeshore 9, Salmen 0
Northlake Christian 2, Slidell 1
Northshore 6, Newman 0
Pope John Paul II 7, Dunham 1

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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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