MONROE -- For 80 minutes, the Live Oak girls gave higher-seeded Neville all it could handle. But in the end, it still wasn’t enough.
Sneaking into the playoffs as the No. 20 seed, the resilient Lady Eagles nearly pulled off a major upset before the Lady Tigers rallied for a 2-1 victory on Friday.
Live Oak (9-10-2) went up 1-0 when sophomore Maddy Harrouch scored off an assist from freshman Madeline Mayfield in the first half, but Neville countered to make it 1-1 at the break.
The Lady Tigers’ goal was wrapped in some controversy. LOHS coach Jimmy Cook said a referee lifted his flag as if to signal an offsides call, causing all but one Neville player to stop playing. But the center referee never blew his whistle to stop play, allowing the Lady Tiger that kept playing to tie the game.
Neither team scored for much of the second half as the defenses started controlling the game. The Lady Eagles finally broke through with nearly 8 minutes to go, giving up a game-winning — and season-killing — goal to Neville.
The loss ended Live Oak’s season one round sooner than last postseason, when it opened with a 3-0 win over South Terrebonne before falling 7-1 to eventual Division II champion Benjamin Franklin in the second round.
After capturing their second consecutive co-district championship and playoff berth, the young Lady Eagles should feel good about making it three straight heading into next season, especially factoring in what they’ll bring back. Live Oak loses only four seniors after this season while returning 11 others, including leading scorer Alicia Carlos.