Tigers fall in playoffs, look ahead to building upon strong year

Jackson Nelson of Hahnville.

Hahnville’s season came to an end last week by a 6-0 score to a talented Denham Springs team in round one of the Division I playoffs, the conclusion of a year that saw the Tigers finish 12-6-3 and make major strides forward as a program.

“Denham’s a very talented team across the board,” said Hahnville boys head soccer coach Matt Oubre. “They’re very senior heavy, and many of those guys began starting as freshman. It was a tough path for us for sure.”

Denham, the No. 12 seed in Division I, is led by midfielder Axel Agurcia, one of the state’s top players and whose impact Hahnville set out to dull as best they could, Oubre said.

“We tried to man mark him and keep him out of the game, but it was very tough,” Oubre said. “Our defense is pretty tough, but they cracked us open a few times.”

That task was made even tougher by a few key absences down the stretch due to injury.

Denham has since advanced to the state quarterfinals. Hahnville, meanwhile, can shift gears to preparing for next season, which looks to be a promising one: all but two starters will return for the 2022-23 campaign.

The two starters departing are Ethan Maher and Chad Breaux, seniors who delivered all season for the Tigers. Oubre said the two will be missed.

“You know, Ethan scored 15 goals for us, and Chad may well have prevented 15,” said Oubre. “Those two are tough to replace. We are bringing a lot of guys back, though, so I expect us to keep building on this and take another step forward.”

Hahnville scored 52 goals this season while allowing just 26, a stat that bodes well for the team’s future.

The Tigers, who were the No. 21 seed in this year’s field, began the season unbeaten through five matches. A brief swoon followed after that, four defeats in a row. But the Tigers roared to the finish from there – HHS lost just two of its final 12 matches.

The biggest win among those came on Jan. 25, as Hahnville felled District 6-I foe Rummel, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 victory. Rummel is the No. 8 seed in the Div. I playoffs – the loss to Hahnville was one of just two defeats absorbed by the Raiders over their final 15 matches.

“Our boys were really up for that game,” Oubre said. “I think you saw in that game one of the biggest differences for our team this season … we were down 2-0 in several games this season and we came back to win or tie those games. And in games we were winning, we found ways to see it through … in previous years, we’d find a way to let the other team tie or beat us.”

 

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