A Beau Chene goal with 12 minutes left in regulation eventually forced a sudden death overtime period in its round two Division II playoff match against Destrehan, where the Gators’ Adrian Eaglin scored to propel his team to a 2-1 victory and trip to the quarterfinals.
It brought to an end a strong season by a young 13th seeded Wildcats (12-6-1) team that surged into the playoffs.
Beau Chene (15-4-7), the No. 4 seed last year’s Division II state runner-up, advanced to play Caddo Magnet in the quarterfinals and earned a 2-0 victory to reach the semifinals, where it was bested by top seed Holy Cross, 2-1.
“We knew it would be a hard game, but the boys were ready for it,” said Destrehan coach Jhovanny Santamaria. “They were ready and they played so hard … we were this close. I don’t know that Beau Chene expected that kind of game.”
Indeed, Destrehan led 1-0 at halftime on a penalty kick in the box by Michael Ehrmann. Destrehan rode a wave of momentum into the second half until Beau Chene got loose in the second half to tie. The game winner in overtime came on a counterattack by forward Adrian Eaglin.
“He’s one of the best players we’ve ever faced, I’d say,” Santamaria said. “He’s extremely fast but he’s strong as well. Once he got one on one there was nothing either the goalkeeper or defender could really do.”
Against Beau Chene, Destrehan came close to scoring the upset by keeping possession of the ball and working the middle of the field.
“We probably kept the ball 60 percent of the time,” Santamaria said.
But control of the game was lost on the Gators’ score near the end of regulation on a free kick.
“They had no life and we kind of gave them life on that one,” Santamaria said. “They had a lot of chances in the second half … that’s a really fast team that can get in position in a hurry.”
Though the season is over, Santamaria was proud of a team that won its district and overcame a brief midseason rough patch to surge into the playoffs with a 13 seed. More good news for the program: Destrehan will see most of this team return next season, with just one senior among its starters.
“We were ranked 32 at one point this season and our guys went to work,” Santamaria said. “We said, let’s just make it to the playoffs and see. Then we had a chance to win district, and we took it. It was a great season by a very young team of guys with a bright future.”