St. Louis edges Vandebilt for Sacred Heart Cup title

HOUMA – St. Louis Catholic High School got a late goal from Joseph Lapira to beat Vandebilt Catholic (7-1), 2-1 in the final of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Cup Saturday at Buddy Marcello Stadium.

The loss snapped a 19-match winning streak for the two-time defending Division II state champion Terriers.

It was the first time since 1997 a school other than Vandebilt or Brother Martin won the tournament.

“You have got to give credit to St. Louis,” Vandebilt coach Doug Hamilton. “We felt like we were able to win. The disappointment comes from the fact we lost it. The Sacred Heart tournament is a pretty important one amongst Sacred Heart schools. I thought we played outstanding. I’m proud of them. I would be remiss not to give St. Louis credit. (Lapira) played well. My hat goes off to them. We’re playing a tough schedule this year. A loss like this builds character.”

Eight minutes into the match, Rennie Walker scored to give St. Lois a 1-0 lead, which carried into halftime.

With time in the second half dwindling, Vandebilt’s John Lapeyre headed one past the Saints’ goalie to tie the match at 1.

But St. Louis’ Lapira answered shortly to give the Saints a lead they would not surrender.

“Two state champs meet, we both played like it. I’m excited about being invited and winning it,” St. Louis cooach Jason Oertling. “We hope this will help us defend our title.”

SEMIFINAL
VANDEBILT 3,

ST. THOMAS MORE 1 (BOYS)
In the semifinals, Jared Wooley scored two goals for Vandebilt and Gordon Blume scored on a header.

Brett Brassau scored the only goal for St. Thomas More (4-2-2).

“It was a good win,” Hamilton said. “St. Thomas More is a division rival and we lost to them last year in the regular season. My team played well and to quote Nick Saban, ëWe have to take it one game at a time.’ I have to mention our possession game and Jared Wooley has become a great scorer. The passing went real well, even without Gordon Chaisson, who broke his nose early in the tournament, we have 18 guys we can put anywhere.”

SEMIFINAL
ST. LOUIS 1,

BROTHER MARTIN 0 (BOYS)
Craig Greenman’s goal less than a minute into the second half was all St. Louis Catholic High School of Lake Charles needed to take a 1-0 win over Brother Martin in the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Cup soccer semifinals Saturday.

After having several near misses in the first half, St. Louis (4-3), the defending champions in Division III, came out and took care of business in the opening seconds of the second half.

Greenman found enough space in the Crusaders defense to launch a left-footed blasted just outside the 18-yard box. Despite a diving attempt by Brother Martin goalie Mark Colomb, Greenman’s shot found the left corner giving the Saints a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute.

St. Louis coach Jason Oertling said that he challenged his team at halftime to play hard, and they did.

“It wasn’t anything magical that I said,” Oertling said. “I was just telling my kids to keep working hard. We were dead tired and we were beat up over the last couple of days. We played three quality opponents and kind of snuck into the semifinals.

“Coach Deritter and Brother Martin are always one of the best teams around so we knew it was going to be more about heart today than soccer. All I did at halftime was ask them to keep giving the same effort as they did in the first half.”

The Saints had to face some unexpected adversity when, in the 52nd minute, Oertling was given a red card and forced to leave the game after disputing a call by the line judge.

Brother Martin (3-2-3) had its best scoring opportunity minutes later, in the 64th minute, when Richard Duncan passed to Ryan Doubleday, who appeared to be offsides, in the box.

The referees did not call it leaving Doubleday a one-on-one chance against St. Louis goalie Hank Chol.

Doubleday’s potential equalizer was snuffed out as Chol deflected the shot with his leg.

Joe Lapira came close to giving the Saints a 2-0 lead in the 69th minute, but Colomb deflected the ball out of bounds. On the ensuing corner kick by Ross Thevenot, Colomb grabbed the ball out of midair to keep the Crusaders within one.

Brother Martin managed three shots on goal in the final 10 minutes but Chol was up to the challenge every time.

Brother Martin coach Alan Deritter said his team’s focus on defense early in the season hurt them in its attempt to comeback.

“We don’t really focus on offense this time of year,” Deritter said. “We focus more on defense. That’s one of the drawbacks. I don’t expect them to play great offense in November.”

St. Louis had quality opportunities in the first half but were unable to come away with a goal.

In the 10th minute, Greenman hit a shot from point blank range that was saved by Colomb. Chapira made a long run through the Crusaders defense in the 21st minute only to miss wide left.

St. Louis had another chance in the 40th minute when Brother Martin was unable to clear a ball in the box.

St. Louis’ Jimmy Thompson took possession of the ball but fired a shot well over the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.

Earlier in the day, E.D. White Catholic lost to St. Thomas More 4-0. The Cardinals (0-4) finished the tournament with a 0-3 record.