Matt Oubre has watched his players work, improve, and push toward a breakthrough over the past few seasons.
Perhaps that time has come. Hahnville is off to its strongest start in some time on the soccer field, as the Tigers got off to an unbeaten 4-0-1 mark to kick off the 2021-22 campaign before finally falling twice, Friday night against Jesuit, 6-0 and Tuesday night in a tough 1-0 battle with New Iberia.
Despite the two losses to tough foes, Oubre sees something different in this team, one that blends a strong group of veteran leaders with a roster full of talented underclassmen.
“We have three seniors who are really leading the way and doing a great job for us,” said Oubre. “We’re heavy on juniors and sophomores … I think the biggest thing this year is that when we start subbing, there’s really no drop off in our play.”
Oubre said the summer season was a strong one, and the experience was valuable – the players came through with a stronger grasp of the system and entered the current season with a heightened focus.
“It’s a big reason we’ve been able to play at a higher level than we have in the past,” he said.
Seniors Ethan Maher and Chad Breaux are among the team’s leaders. Sophomore midfielder Daniel Bowman has made his mark as the Tigers’ midfielder, and junior Sage Hines is another standout.
“(Maher) has scored some big goals for us already,” Oubre said. “Chad is playing more of a defensive role and he’s just been a rock for us. Both guys have really stepped it up from a leadership standpoint, both verbally and through their play.”
Bowman was sidelined for two games, Oubre said, noting he was missed. The Tigers play a ball control, possession game, and he’s key to that.
One area the team must continue to make strides in, Oubre noted, is in its ability to finish and score. Hahnville has not struggled to generate scoring chances, but converting more of those opportunities into scores could mean all the difference between a good season and a great one.
“I don’t think it will be long,” he said. “It’s about how many chances we can make, and then can we finish one more than the other team. It doesn’t have to be pretty. You just need one more goal.”
The Tigers earned their fourth win of the year against Higgins, 3-0. Hines, Brendan Kenney and Maher each scored goals in the win.
In a victory over E.D. White, 2-0. Evan Oubre and Jackson Nelson each put home goals. Owen Fontenot assisted on each.
Meanwhile, in the team’s 2-0 win over Lutcher, Fontenot and Oubre booted home the goals. Maher’s goal was the difference in a 1-0 win over Ponchatoula, Breaux assisting on the score.
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