A red hot start by Brother Martin ultimately left Destrehan in a hole it couldn’t climb out of in Wednesday’s second round Division I boys soccer playoff matchup between the teams at City Park’s Pan American Stadium.
The Crusaders scored two goals within the opening 10 minutes of play en route to an eventual 7-1 victory, earning a trip to the quarterfinal round and bringing Destrehan’s season to a close.
Dylan Liuzza scored on a header for the day’s first goal, while Ali Cavdar followed up with a score of his own to push Brother Martin out to an early 2-0 lead. Destrehan never recovered against a Crusaders team that had only once allowed more than two goals in a match this season.
“I think they’re the best team … I think they’ll make it to the finals,” said Destrehan coach Jhovanny Santamaria, who concludes his eighth season with the program. “I told my boys, against this team, you’re not allowed mistakes. And when you get down 2-0 in the first 10 minutes on our mistakes, it becomes very ,very hard to come back against a good team.”
Brother Martin’s Eric Milligan added a third goal for Brother Martin, which took a 3-0 lead into the halftime break. The Crusaders began the second half much like the first, scoring three minutes into the second half on a Dexter Brooks kick.
“We went into the second half saying, ok, let’s go get one here to start. But they got another one to make it 4-0,” Santamaria said.
Destrehan (15-6-1) got on the board via the foot of Will Bryant, who leaked out behind the defense to boot one into the net and make it 4-1.
But Brother Martin (15-2-5) answered quickly via a shot from close range by Marlon Urquia.
Milligan and Brooks each added a goal from there, both ending the match with two goals scored.
“Our goal is always to get to the playoffs, then the second goal is to win the first game in the playoffs. The third goal is to move on from there … we will learn from this. This is a young team … I’m proud of them,” Santamaria said.
Destrehan moved up from Division II to Division I this season, yet advanced in the playoffs once again and improved its seeding from last season in spite of that.
“We look at it as, we’ve got to always compete, and it doesn’t matter if we are in Division I or Division II,” Santamaria said. “We’ve been in both, and our goals remain what they are.”
He said he’s sorry to see this senior group go, calling them a group of very good leaders for the young, up and coming underclassmen behind them.
“They’ve had some very good years here,” Santamaria said. “You have a guy like Keith Mitchell, a senior, a guy making sure everyone is organized and doing what they need to be at practice. These guys are good leaders. They don’t complain and go about getting the job done.”