By Pat Mashburn, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
No. 1 St. Paul’s 3; No. 8 Northshore 2
At Northshore High, Monday (Feb. 12), Division I quarterfinal round
Records: St. Paul’s (22-0-0); Northshore (16-1-3)
SCORE BY HALVES
No. 8 Northshore – 1 | 1 | 2
No. 1 St. Paul’s – 2 | 1 | 3
PLAYER OF THE GAME – Justin Savoie, St. Paul’s
Each opponent in the postseason seems to get tougher and attempts to shut the Wolves down, but each time a different hero emerges. This time, it was Justin Savoie, who scored the go-ahead goal with seconds remaining in regulation to break a 2-2 tie. It would hold up to become the winning margin.
HOW IT WAS WON
What a difference a few weeks can make.
Early in the District 4-I schedule, St. Paul’s handed Northshore a 2-0 defeat, en route to an undefeated regular season against in-state competition. This time, the Panthers were on their game as they brought pressure early and often.
Set pieces proved to be the difference Connor Walmsley scored off of a free kick in the 19th minute to give St. Paul’s an early 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, they struck again as James Bryant found the slightest opening for a goal, and what might seem like an insurmountable 2-0 lead.
The same could also be said for Northshore as Jean Rojas cut the deficit in the 36th minute on a shot from a free kick. Then, Fernando Trujillo threaded the needle with a well-placed shot on a free kick in the 62nd minute that went over the outstretched finger tips of keeper Kyle Schmidt, tying the match at 2-2.
From that point, St. Paul’s owned a slight edge in possession, and capitalized on it in the closing seconds as Justin Savoie nailed a shot to put the team back on top, 3-2, allowing the clock to run out.
No. 8 Northshore: Jean Rojas (36th minute); Fernando Trujillo (62nd minute)
No. 1 St. Paul’s: Connor Walmsley (19th minute); James Bryant (24th minute); Justin Savoie (79th minute)
- St. Paul’s and Northshore met once during the regular season, and the Wolves won 2-0 on Jan. 5 when the two teams squared off in a District 4-I contest.
- The last time the Wolves and the Panthers met in the postseason was in 2013, and the Wolves defeated the Panthers 2-0 in the second round.
- Last year, as the No. 6 seed, the Panthers drew a first-round bye and fell 2-0 to No. 11 Catholic-B.R. in the second round.
- St. Paul’s is closing in on their quest for an unprecedented fifth consecutive Division I title.
THEY SAID IT
Justin Savoie (St. Paul’s) – “We knew they were big and they were going to use their corners and free kicks, and throw-ins to get on us. We try to get on top early, as fast as we can. When we go down, we usually come together as a team and push through.”
Colin Moser (St. Paul’s) – “What helps in winning matches like this is have all of the seniors on the team now who played last year. Last year in the playoffs, we came from behind twice. We know how to do it, coming from behind and staying head.”
Sean Moser, coach (St. Paul’s) – “Northshore came…