Coaches’ Top 10 soccer polls feature six local teams

ATTACKING ASH: Captain Shreve midfielder Bella Hamilton works the ball through the Alexandria defense.  (Photo courtesy of Captain Shreve Lady Gators Soccer)

By DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports

Defending Division 4 state girls’ soccer champion Loyola is No. 1 again – at least in a coaches’ poll early this season.

The Louisiana High School Soccer Coaches Association has released its first coaches’ poll, compiled by division. Only coaches from their division vote, with 10 total voters selected per division.

Girls’ Division I voting tabbed Captain Shreve at No. 3, including one first-place vote, and Byrd as No. 7. Division II has Caddo Magnet coming in fifth and Parkway just one spot back. Loyola is tops in Division 4, with seven of the 10 first-place votes. No other local schools received any votes in the initial girls’ polls.

As for the boys’ side, only Bossier got Top 10 respect, coming in strongly at No. 2 in Division III, with three first-place votes. Shreve, Byrd (both DI), Magnet, Parkway, Haughton, Northwood (all DII), Loyola and Evangel (D4) all received votes in the polls, and look to garner more as the season moves along.

Captain Shreve’s Lady Gators hosted the Gator Cup this past weekend, winning a competition that featured 16 varsity teams and a JV division. Shreve won the Premier Division going 4-0, with victories over Airline, Magnet, Alexandria and Vandebilt Catholic. The Lady Gators scored 17 goals, while conceding only four, with two shutouts. Grace Community (Texas) won the Champions Division and Central-BR won the Elite Division.

Girls’ teams from Loyola and Benton went to Lafayette for the Copa Tournament. Loyola finished 2-0-1, tying St. Louis Catholic and beating Sulphur and Lafayette. The Lady Flyers did not concede a single goal, while scoring five, for a successful weekend. Benton went 1-2, losing to Mandeville and St. Louis Catholic, both 3-0. The Lady Tigers’ victory came against West Jefferson (8-0).

The biggest game of the week was played last Tuesday, when the Lady Gators defeated the Lady Jackets 2-1 at Byrd. We were there and you can read last Wednesday morning’s story using our search engine to input the start of the headline “Early season faceoff” to access it.

On Wednesday at noon, Parkway keeper Aubri Dupri will be formally signing her letter of Intent to play soccer at DII Emory Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona Campus. Dupri has been a four-year starter for the Lady Panthers. She is credited with 668 saves during her high school career, with 12 games left to add to that total.

It was a quiet week on the boys’ side, although there were a couple of good matchups. Last Wednesday, Parkway had a huge early-season win over Benton (4-1), with all goals scored in the second half. Thursday, Loyola shocked Shreve with a 1-0 victory, “a huge win for us,” Flyer coach Wes Kyle said. 

All the local boys’ teams took the weekend off, no doubt preparing for this week’s Airline tournament, with nine of the best local teams competing. The Airline tournament has historically pitted the best teams against each other, so going into this event well-rested is a must. Look for the tournament recap next Tuesday.