Sacred Heart defeats OLA 2-1, heads for fifth straight state title game

By ANDREW ABADIE,

BAY ST. LOUIS –  For the fifth year in a row, the Sacred Heart girls' soccer team punched its ticket to the state championship game after defeating Our Lady Academy 2-1 in double overtime on Tuesday night.

 

Tied at 1-1, the Crusaders for the second week in a row won the game on a corner kick. 

 

Gracie Falla, who scored the go-ahead goal on a header against Clarkdale in the second round of playoffs, again found herself a part of the game-winning goal on the header. Falla headed the ball into the box straight to Olivia Ware, who scored the winning goal. 

 

"My first thought was [Gabby overshot it], but Gracie got it," Olivia Ware said. "Gabby had that corner kick and I see Gracie flying up through the air and she heads it back down. My body was kind of turned [opposite] away from the goal, and I just turn my body in and kicked it." 

 

According to Falla, Ware was almost not even on the field after suffering an injury earlier in the game. 

 

"It was kind of perfect for Gabby because [OLA was] all set up in the goal because they knew what had happened [at our] last game," Falla said. "One of their best headers came on me so I [thought] it's all or nothing. She kicked it a little over and there was nothing else I could do except head it back into the box. Fortunately, Olivia came back into the game. She got hurt and missed most of the overtime. I came up to her and I said, 'Hey live, we just need one.'"

 

Fortunately for Sacred Heart, Ware gave them the one and final goal needed to win the South State championship.

 

Earlier in the game, the Crusaders jumped to a 1-0 lead by Falla in the first half.

 

"The first half I had Gracie play as a striker and after we score she moved back and played defense," Sacred Heart head coach Joe Falla Sr. said. "We tried to hold [OLA defensively] a little bit. Everybody worked hard. I moved players around in different positions. It was a challenging game all the way around." 

 

OLA answered in the 66th minute of play and tied the game with a corner kick at 1-1 before the Crusaders put the game away in double overtime.

 

The win gave Sacred Heart revenge against its rival school after losing the region title to Our Lady Academy and splitting the regular season. Notably, in all three matchups between the two schools, each game went into overtime.

 

"That's a championship game and anytime you come to play for South State, that's a championship," Joe Falla Sr. said. "My girls and [there] girls worked so hard. I thank God that he gave us the strength to finish it off." I was praying that [God] would give us a chance to come to [OLA]. 

 

Sacred Heart will travel to Jackson and rematch St. Andrews for the state championship game on Saturday at 12 p.m.

 

"We have one more game," Gracie Falla said. "It's going to be a tough game. St Andrews is a great team. It's always a tough game with them. We just have to go out there, step up and be ready to play. It's not going to get handed to us. It's all or nothing." 

 

The Sacred Heart boys' soccer team also came away with a South State title on Friday. The Crusaders, for a second consecutive season, punched their ticket to state after defeating Clarkdale 2-1 in overtime. The boys' team will also rematch St. Andrew's Episcopal, which is set for 2 p.m. in 

 

BAY ST. LOUIS –  For the fifth year in a row, the Sacred Heart girls' soccer team punched its ticket to the state championship game after defeating Our Lady Academy 2-1 in double overtime on Tuesday night.

Tied at 1-1, the Crusaders for the second week in a row won the game on a corner kick.

Gracie Falla, who scored the go-ahead goal on a header against Clarkdale in the second round of playoffs, again found herself a part of the game-winning goal on the header. Falla headed the ball into the box straight to Olivia Ware, who scored the winning goal.

"My first thought was [Gabby overshot it], but Gracie got it," Olivia Ware said. "Gabby had that corner kick and I see Gracie flying up through the air and she heads it back down. My body was kind of turned [opposite] away from the goal, and I just turn my body in and kicked it."

According to Falla, Ware was almost not even on the field after suffering an injury earlier in the game.

"It was kind of perfect for Gabby because [OLA was] all set up in the goal because they knew what had happened [at our] last game," Falla said. "One of their best headers came on me so I [thought] it's all or nothing. She kicked it a little over and there was nothing else I could do except head it back into the box. Fortunately, Olivia came back into the game. She got hurt and missed most of the overtime. I came up to her and I said, 'Hey live, we just need one.'"

Fortunately for Sacred Heart, Ware gave them the one and final goal needed to win the South State championship.

Earlier in the game, the Crusaders jumped to a 1-0 lead by Falla in the first half.

"The first half I had Gracie play as a striker and after we score she moved back and played defense," Sacred Heart head coach Joe Falla Sr. said. "We tried to hold [OLA defensively] a little bit. Everybody worked hard. I moved players around in different positions. It was a challenging game all the way around."

OLA answered in the 66th minute of play and tied the game with a corner kick at 1-1 before the Crusaders put the game away in double overtime.

The win gave Sacred Heart revenge against its rival school after losing the region title to Our Lady Academy and splitting the regular season. Notably, in all three matchups between the two schools, each game went into overtime.

"That's a championship game and anytime you come to play for South State, that's a championship," Joe Falla Sr. said. "My girls and [there] girls worked so hard. I thank God that he gave us the strength to finish it off." I was praying that [God] would give us a chance to come to [OLA].

Sacred Heart will travel to Jackson and rematch St. Andrews for the state championship game on Saturday at 12 p.m.

"We have one more game," Gracie Falla said. "It's going to be a tough game. St Andrews is a great team. It's always a tough game with them. We just have to go out there, step up and be ready to play. It's not going to get handed to us. It's all or nothing."

The Sacred Heart boys' soccer team also came away with a South State title on Friday. The Crusaders, for a second consecutive season, punched their ticket to state after defeating Clarkdale 2-1 in overtime. The boys' team will also rematch St. Andrew's Episcopal, which is set for 2 p.m. in