Destrehan has scored its share of postseason upsets and near upsets under coach Jhovanny Santamaria, but on Saturday, it was the Wildcats’ turn to ward off a lower seeded team with ambitions to shock their hosts – and it looked bleak at first.
But after falling behind 2-0 against No. 22 East Ascension, Destrehan kicked its offense into high gear to score two second half goals and then three more in overtime, capturing a 5-2 victory to advance to round two of the boys Division I soccer playoffs.
Destrehan travels to face No. 6 seeded Brother Martin Wednesday night (Feb. 12). The game is set for a 7 p.m. start at City Park’s Pam American Stadium.
Owen Alack scored two goals for the Wildcats. Nicholas Morrow, Will Bryant and Michael Cespedes each added goals for the Wildcats (15-6-1).
Brother Martin (14-2-5) will provide a stiff test for Destrehan. The two District 6-1 rivals met recently, with Brother Martin capturing a 4-0 victory on Jan. 14, late in the regular season. Brother Martin has suffered just two losses all season, and is unbeaten since Dec. 7.
Ben Franklin, Dutchtown and Mandeville have come closest to felling the Crusaders in that span, each coming away with a tie. Just one team, Dutchtown, has scored more than two goals on Brother Martin in any game this season.
LADYCATS ADVANCE ON ROAD, EARN 6th STRAIGHT WIN: The Destrehan Lady Wildcats made a furious late regular season push, winning five straight matches to qualify for the girls Division I soccer playoffs.
And they’ve decided they may as well stay for awhile.
Destrehan, the 21st seeded team in Division I, went on the road Friday and felled No. 12 West Monroe, 1-0, in the first round of the state playoffs.
The Ladycats travel to face No. 5 St. Joseph’s Academy tonight (Feb. 11) at 7 p.m. in second round action.
Faith LeVeck scored the eventual game-winning goal early in the second half, assisted by Caroline Rome and giving Destrehan a 1-0 lead that held the rest of the way. The Wildcats outshot West Monroe 6-2 on goal in the second half and 16-3 overall. Wildcats goalkeeper Merritt Tompkins made a key save midway through the second half that kept the Rebels off the board.
Destrehan has won eight of its last 10 as it prepares for St. Joseph’s (15-5-5) which lost its final regular season match but had been unbeaten over its previous 10. Both teams were quarterfinalists last season, Destrehan in Division II and St. Joseph’s in Division I.
The victories by the DHS boys and girls carry added significance in light of that last note: both teams advanced in the playoffs while moving up in classification this season, as both programs made the jump from Division II to Division I, the state’s highest classification, this season.