Sacred Heart sweeps soccer state championships

Sacred Heart sweeps soccer state championships

BRANDON, MS (WDAM) - Just a week after Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots cemented their NFL dynasty by capturing the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl championship since 2001, the Sacred Heart girls soccer program reaffirmed its dominance in the realm of Mississippi high school soccer.

The Lady Crusaders secured their fourth straight state championship - and sixth in the last seven years - by defeating St. Andrew’s 2-0 on Saturday in the 1A/2A/3A state title.

"It's history, it's really history,” said Sacred Heart girls soccer coach Joe “Papa” Falla Sr. “I don’t think a lot of people give us credit because [it’s] such a small school. But we play 1A and 2A and 3A schools. Belichick, I'm right there with him.”

After a scoreless tie in the first half, freshman Gracie Falla boomed a free kick to sophomore Olivia Ware in the 45th minute. Ware lofted a goal over the St. Andrew goalkeeper to put the Lady Crusaders ahead 1-0.

Senior Blair Viator scored in the 57th minute to seal the 2-0 win and claim another gold ball for Sacred Heart soccer.

“Every year, you just get more excited for the next season,” Ware said. “Just to keep on adding to the dynasty."

“Playing as a team and everybody’s uplifting everyone,” Viator said. “We all play as a team together and we’re really close. We don't rely on just one person. We all play together.”

The girls stuck around Brandon High School to watch Sacred Heart battle St. Andrew’s in the 1A/2A/3A boys state championship at 2 p.m.

A defensive battle resulted in a scoreless tie at halftime. Junior Garrett Bell scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 43rd minute. Bell’s penalty kick lifted the Crusaders to their first state title since 2013.

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