Another trip to the title game appears to be a strong bet for the Lady Titans, who are 11-3-1 and ranked second in the latest Eurosport Class AAA state poll.
Blessed Trinity – the No. 2 seed from Region 6AAA -- will begin its quest for another finals trip as it hosts East Jackson in a first-round game Friday.
Despite losing its top four scorers from last year’s AAA state runner-up team, Blessed Trinity coach Gilbert Jean-Baptiste said his team hasn’t missed a beat.
“We’ve come to find out that we’re a pretty good team,” Jean-Baptiste said. “We’ve had some girls come up from JV and the girls who did not start last year have stepped up and done well.”
With so much of their offensive firepower gone from last year, the Lady Titans have successfully re-invented themselves as a possession-oriented and defensive unit.
“This is the best position team that we’ve had and that makes a difference,” Jean-Baptiste said. “Last year, we were so offensively minded that we just overpowered teams offensively and we didn’t really rely on possession. So it’s a very different team. It hasn’t been like winning games 3-0 and 4-0 like we did last year – we just realized that’s not the kind of team we are and we’re not going to win every game like that. Once we realized that, it has made things much easier.”
It has been an amazing run of success for Blessed Trinity, which has won five state championships (2004, ’06, 07, ’08, ’11) as well as earning four runner-up finishes in the past decade.
“It’s a matter of the girls playing within the system, making a family out of the team,” Jean-Baptiste said. “We’ve done a really good job of developing a culture, a soccer culture, and that’s why the things that we do, our middle school teams already know. It’s really impressive to see in 10 years how we have had a chance to develop a culture here that the soccer program has done well and we keep developing players.
Senior midfielder Julia Gaston leads a Blessed Trinity squad that also includes key contributions from senior goalkeeper Meredith Carson, senior defender Amy Falkin, junior center back Anna Murray and senior midfielder Cameron Cox.