The St. Joseph’s Academy soccer team advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Division I LHSAA state soccer tournament before falling 4-0 to #2 St. Scholastica on February 9.
The #7-seed Redstickers finished the year 12-6-3 and were District 5 champions for the sixth year in a row.
Coach Stephanie Broussard said it was a special season. “The standard of excellence for St. Joseph’s Academy soccer keeps growing each year,” she said. “Our girls of the 2018-2019 soccer program were truly successful. As their coach, I was fortunate to have been a part of it.”
Senior Gabby Barreneche said that while the early exit from the state playoffs was a disappointment, she was proud of her team. “We had constant motivation to do the absolute best, even when the odds were not in our favor,” she said. “I have never been surrounded by a better group of girls that pushed one another the way that these girls did. Each teammate of mine has something so special about her that I will always remember. My senior season was definitely one to remember: sharing our talents, having fun and doing what we love to do while creating friendships I truly will cherish forever.”
Senior Rhys Lopiparo said this season was one of the most memorable of her career. “Although it did not end with the state championship we all hoped for, it accomplished so much more,” she said. “These past few months have deepened my love for the game, as well as SJA overall. My senior season has taught me how to be a true leader and the best teammate I can possibly be. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to finish my high school career with. Together, we maintained a motivating environment, and it allowed us to constantly push each other to do better. Most importantly, I would have never gotten through this season without Coach Steph and my fellow seniors. Our past four years together have been truly unforgettable, and I will cherish the bond that has grown between us forever.”
Senior Maddie Ieyoub shared similar sentiments. “The SJA soccer team has been one of the best experiences of my life,” she said. “It has taught me many things, such as confidence, leadership and friendship. Sadly, we did not win a state title, but this year has been one of the best, skill and friendship wise. Without the help of Coach Steph, Coach Kyle and Coach Alex, we would have not made it as far as we did. I am forever grateful for memories, experiences and life lessons that the SJA soccer team gave me.”
Junior Madison Corey said that while the season didn’t end as the team had hoped it would, there was a lot to celebrate. “We definitely accomplished a lot,” she said. “The bond we had as a team was definitely the key to our success. The friendships that I’ve made the past three seasons are ones that I will have forever. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of seniors to look up to, and with the talented group of players we have coming back next year, I cannot wait to see what my senior season has in store for our team.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Amanda Callihan