By Mark Clements
Special to The Advocate
February 02, 2013
The dust has settled following the end of the 2012-13 high school girls soccer season, and teams learned their playoffs fate Tuesday as the Louisiana High School Athletic Association released the playoff brackets.
The playoffs begin later this week.
University High earned the highest seed of any Baton Rouge team regardless of Division at No. 3 in Division III. Loyola Prep earned Division III’s top seed followed by Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans with the No. 2 seed.
“I thought it was very fair. I think they did a really good job ranking,” said U-High coach Melissa Ramsey. “I totally agree that Loyola and Sacred Heart are two outstanding teams that deserve one and two (seeds). Hopefully, we’ll do our best to be deserving of ranking No. 3.”
Ramsey called the top two seeds frontrunners in the playoffs, but said she wouldn’t be surprised to see Northlake Christian, Episcopal or Runnels make some noise down the line.
“They have quality players and goal scorers,” she said. “If you have those two qualities in a team, you have a better chance of winning.”
Game times have not been established yet, but Ramsey is pushing for a Thursday kickoff.
St. Scholastica earned the top seed in Division I, with Lafayette High the No. 2 seed. Baton Rouge High was the highest-seeded Baton Rouge school, earning the No. 9 seed, with St. Joseph’s Academy close behind at No. 11 and Zachary as the 21st seed.
Vandebilt Catholic and Teurlings Catholic topped the Division II bracket. St. Michael the Archangel is the lone Baton Rouge team and is seeded No. 16. There are only 17 teams in Division II, giving the top eight seeds first-round byes in the tournament.
“We’re absolutely thrilled at the ranking that we received, said Lutcher coach Neta Bourgeois, whose Bulldogs earned the No. 5 seed and a first-round bye in Division II. “We’re very appreciative of the ranking we got, and we hope to make our school proud.”
Lutcher will play the winner of No. 12 DeRidder and No. 21 East Jefferson. Bourgeois said the extra week of preparation and rest could be a major factor in her team’s chances of a state title.
“It’s essential, I think, to make it far in the playoffs to have that first-round bye to get the conditioning in and to also clean up those things that we’ve been needing,” Bourgeois said. “We have about a week to clean up those little tactical errors that we make.”
Bourgeois called Vandebilt and Teurlings the teams the beat in Division II, but she said she hopes to “make a good run for it” as well.
In Division III, University High leads the way for Baton Rouge with its No. 3 seeding, followed by Episcopal as the No. 4 seed, Runnels at No. 9, Parkview Baptist at No. 21 and Christian Life at No. 24.
Central High coach Thomas Eskola said his school is filing a second appeal with LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson after a first appeal submitted Tuesday was rejected by assistant executive director B.J. Guzzardo.
Eskola said the school used the LHSAA’s online handbook to obtain power-ratings criteria for making the playoffs before putting together his team’s schedule. Eskola said last week an update to those criteria was made to the website.
The Central coach said his team would have qualified as a No. 31 or No. 32 seed in Division I under the previous criteria. Eskola said the school requested a play-in game with the No. 32 seed to give his team a chance to make the playoffs.
Eskola said the school received a letter from Guzzardo that stated that play-in games are not allowed. He said Guzzardo acknowledged the late online update, but noted that checking other playoff qualifying bylaws would have helped the school make the adjustment sooner.
Robin Fambrough also
contributed to this report