What was initially thought to be a rebuilding season has evolved for the Destrehan Wildcats, who earned an upset victory 1-0 last week at Lakeshore in a Division II opening round playoff match.
The Wildcats (9-4-4) entered the playoffs as the No. 19 seed while Lakeshore was No. 14, but few teams entered the playoffs hotter than Destrehan, which lost just two of its final 12 regular season matches. Tonight (Feb. 8), DHS travels to face the No. 3 seed Ouachita Parish in round two. That match is set to begin at 5:30.
Senior forward Trent Tregle scored the game-winning goal against Lakeshore, breaking a 0-0 deadlock with a scoring kick with just six minutes remaining in regulation. Tregle nailed the goal on a counter attack, scoring on a rebound after a corner kick set the ball into scoring range.
“It was a great goal,” said Destrehan coach Jhovanny Santamaria. “The goalie tried to save it and just barely touched it, but it got through.
“(Lakeshore) is a strong team with a lot of experience. We’re a young team, in contrast, but we’ve got some guys who have been here before and we’re able to lean on their experience. It was a great team effort from a group that was ready to prepare and play, and they showed it.
“They were ready … they were ready for that game.”
The victory came on the back of another strong performance by the Destrehan defense, which has now allowed just six goals in its combined district and playoff competition.
“We’ve struggled to score this year, but our defense has been strong throughout,” Santamaria said. “They’re making very good decisions and being very patient, especially in the last five games or so.”
The win is also Destrehan’s fourth opening round win in its past five playoff trips.
Destrehan started the season 0-2-2, but adjustments by both the players and coaching staff helped key a turnaround.
“It means a lot (to win in the playoffs), knowing how we started the season,” Santamaria said. “But a lot of times, your season comes down to not how you start but how you end. Moving forward, everyone respects one another, on the field and on the bench. And this is a group that has gained a lot of confidence.”
Ouachita Parish (15-10-4) had a bye in round one. It enters the game on a seven game unbeaten stretch.