Hahnville has enjoyed a well-earned break at the outset of the new year, but returns to action Friday to commence district play – and the Tigers will be looking to continue a surge.
HHS moved to 8-1-3 this season with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Episcopal of Baton Rouge to close out the recent St. Michael the Archangel Cup. Francisco Balderas and Owen Fontenot each scored goals, with Balderas and Evan Oubre notching assists.
That victory capped a tournament performance that saw HHS tie defending Division I state champion St. Paul’s, 0-0, and also tie Northshore 1-1. The latter saw the Tigers’ goal scored by Fontenot and assisted by Daniel Bowman.
Hahnville head boys soccer coach Matt Oubre said that the team’s defense has really come together from the beginning of the season, when it integrated several new players together on the back end. While still working out some mistakes here and there, the results have been tremendous with just one match with more than two goals allowed all season.
“I think we’ve really solidified our defense,” Oubre said. “That time working together has brought us along. We’re finding our personality, our groove and creating a lot of chances up top. Hopefully we’ll start finishing those chances more and more in this last leg of the season.”
One player who continues to finish his opportunities is junior Owen Fontenot, who has only added to his staggering goal total and has emerged as one of the state’s leading goalscorers.
“He’s taken on that leadership role,” Oubre said. “He was one of a couple of guys who got quality minutes as a freshman and that’s starting to really pay off for him. He’s been maturing right in front of our eyes.”
For Fontenot, Oubre said, his ability to consistently beat defenders when one-on-one has been one major reason why he’s found himself among the leading goal scorers in the state.
“He can control the ball and get around players with his speed … he doesn’t look fast, but he runs away from players while he’s dribbling the ball. His composure to finish is second to none. He’s one of the best finishers in the state in my eyes.”
Brendan Kenney and Evan Oubre have been big in the Tigers’ success as well.
“Brendan’s been a great player for us, rarely leaving the field,” said Matt Oubre.
And Evan Oubre has been a bit of a Swiss army knife for the team – filling in wherever needed, depending on the opponent.
“Whether he’s on the back line, outside back, defensive mid or the forward position, he’s able to help us. That we can move him around to different spots and fill whatever holes we have has been huge for us,” Oubre said.
The Tigers begin district play this Friday on the road at Central Lafourche in what should be a battle of top contenders for that league’s crown. While only the first game of district competition, it may loom largest in both teams’ quest to secure that top spot.