Overtime goal gives St. Aloysius its second soccer state title in four years

Published 7:07 pm Saturday, October 6, 2018

JACKSON — Three times Saturday, the St. Aloysius Lady Flashes failed to convert golden scoring opportunities.
When they finally caught a break — and especially given the stakes — they weren’t about to quibble over style points about how they finally put one in the net.

Elizabeth Theriot’s rebound shot in the 13th minute of overtime deflected off a Bayou Academy player and into the net for the game’s only goal, as St. Al won 1-0 in the MAIS Division III girls soccer championship game.

“I saw the goalie hit it out, so I thought, ‘I have to score. This has to be the moment I score because I’m not going to get any more chances like that.’ I saw my opportunity and shot, and it hit off that girl and scored,” said Theriot, a freshman midfielder. “It’s just amazing to think that we’ve come this far. I don’t think anybody thought we’d come this far. We just won state. I’ve wanted this for so long. It’s just an amazing feeling.”

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The state championship is St. Al’s second in four seasons since joining the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools. It also won the title in 2015, and reached the Division III semifinals in 2017.

The Lady Flashes finished 10-3-1 and seem poised to be a contender again next season. Forwards Anna Katherine Beauchamp and Brantlee Richards, and defender Lexi Varner are the only seniors on the roster.

“This is my second year to win it,” said Beauchamp, who was a freshman on the 2015 team. “This was an awesome experience to relive that. I knew our team could do it and we had the heart to do it.”

St. Al had several chances to put the game away early, but missed on all of them. Beauchamp and Richards were both stopped on breakaways in the first 13 minutes of the game.

In the 33rd minute, Beauchamp won a ball from Bayou keeper Gracie Kovac and sent a weak, off-balance shot toward the empty net five yards away. Kovac recovered and hustled to snatch the ball just before it crossed the goal line, smacking her head into the metal goalpost in the process. Kovac briefly left the game before returning.

“I wish I would have hit it way harder. It is what it is,” Beauchamp said.

Bayou (15-1-1) controlled most of the action in the second half, but never seriously threatened to score. St. Al keeper Cameron Mathis finished with eight saves, none of them exceedingly difficult.

After regulation ended in a scoreless tie, the Lady Flashes picked up the pace during the first of two 10-minute overtime periods. Three minutes into the second overtime, they broke the ice.

Richards was fouled in the upper right corner of the goal box, about 10 yards from the net. Beauchamp took the ensuing free kick and put it right on the hands of Kovac, but the keeper was unable to hang on to it. Theriot tried to tap in the rebound in mid-air, and it deflected off the leg of a Bayou defender and into the net.

“I was trying to score, but I knew if anything it would bounce back and we could get a foot on it,” Beauchamp said. “It was coming down to that right there and all we had to do was hold on.”

From there, that’s exactly what they did. Bayou never came close to getting the equalizer, and the Lady Flashes celebrated another state title at the final whistle.

“We played our hearts out,” St. Al coach Jessie Tate said. “We left everything on the field. I’m so proud of them.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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