Destrehan’s been trying to weather the storm early in the 2021-22 season, meshing several young new faces in with their more experienced counterparts amid a rash of injuries, but their recent results show the Ladycats’ determination.
After falling to 0-2 to start the year, the team has won three of its last four, the lone loss coming 1-0 to a tough Ben Franklin team. Destrehan is now 3-3 and help is on the way – head coach Mert Deger believes his group will be back to full strength when it travels to Belle Chasse on Jan. 4, a match which will follow a perhaps helpful break over the next several days.
“We’ve got a real good group of kids here,” said Deger. “Right now, we have several new starters who have been figuring out how to blend in with our returning group. Those first two matches, they had those nerves that are kind of inevitable, it’s a whole different deal to them. It’ll take some time to really mesh together, and the injuries aren’t helping … but we’ll have our (injured) three starters back for Jan. 4.”
In the meantime, the Franklin game saw the Ladycats fight hard, and Deger called the match perhaps his team’s best performance this season, even in a losing effort. Franklin earned the win, booting home a 35-yard free kick for the match’s lone score.
“It was a good battle,” Deger said.
Jordan Terrell returns after leading the Wildcats in scoring last season. She among the team’s leaders, along with fellow seniors Sidney Hymel and Katie Gabler – the three represent the lone three seniors on a young team.
“The three of them are our captains and have been good leaders for us. They’re big for this team,” Deger said.
A silver lining in the absences thus far has been the chance to expose several young players to extended playing time, while opening up extra opportunities for others. One freshman who has stepped up early in the season has been Tatiana Brown, who has made a clear impact already – she scored four goals over two wins earlier this season, including a 2-0 win over St. Charles Catholic.
“She’s been connecting real well with Jordan up front,” said Deger.
Another promising young player is freshman Brooke Ledet, whose experience on the club level far exceeds the typical freshman – though Ledet has been among those dealing with injury.
Thus far, Destrehan has wins over Chapelle and South Terrebonne, in addition to SCC, while the losses have come to Ben Franklin, Lusher and Live Oak.