Back like they never left. On the heels of a 5-1 victory Tuesday night over St. Patrick, the Sacred Heart Lady Crusaders are once again returning to Jackson as Class 1A/2A/3A South State Champs. This Saturday, they’ll play for a fourth straight state championship on the campus of Brandon High School.
“It’s no words to compare what they have done this whole season,” Sacred Heart coach Joe Falla Sr. said. “They’re a bunch of fighters; They play together with good leadership. I just thank God that we made it. This is what dreams are all about.
“When you work hard and work together and work as a unit, this is the result.”
Falla’s team will carry an 11-game winning streak into Saturday’s game. Number 11 looked quick and easy Tuesday night. The Lady Crusaders struck first just seven minutes in, scoring off a Jessica Hyde corner kick that Olivia Ware knocked in. Thirty-three minutes and three goals from three different players later, Sacred Heart took a 4-0 lead into halftime.
Ware, Gracie Falla, Lauren Jones and Bailee Bennett tallied first half goals for the Lady Crusaders, while Gabby Falla answered a St. Patrick goal in the second half with one of her own.
“That’s the beauty, that it’s not just one player,” Joe Falla said. “We got different players that can hurt you. That’s the beauty of a team.”
Now all that stands in the way of Sacred Heart’s four-peat is St. Andrew’s. The Lady Saints punched their ticket to the championship game with a 7-0 victory over Choctaw Central, and a rematch of last year’s Class 1A/2A/3A Final awaits. The Lady Crusaders edged St. Andrew’s 2-1 in overtime last February.
“I can’t wait for it,” Falla said of the rematch. “They [St. Andrew’s] are a pretty good team. We have to go back and play how we know how to play, and the best team will win.”
The game is scheduled for Saturday at 12 pm.