With the majority of its starters back from a year ago, Destrehan has designs on making a breakthrough this season. To that goal, he Lady Wildcats may just be on their way.
Destrehan is off to a 7-6 start in its first 13 matches, including a notable victory over perennial contender Ben Franklin and a close loss to another in Mount Carmel, the latter coming by a 1-0 loss on Saturday.
The Wildcats went 14-10-3 last season before bowing out as a No. 16 seed in the first round of the postseason (a 3-0 loss to New Iberia). But this season’s team is more experienced, and will be entering a different bracket if it qualifies for this postseason: Destrehan has moved from Division I to Division II this season.
“I feel very confident in the group we have,” Destrehan coach Kyle Tizzard said. “We’ve added one freshman and returned everyone else, so this is about where I expected to be. Everyone is really pulling together this season and we’re clicking so well.”
Morgan Rigby is the team’s leading scorer this season, but Tizzard notes that the Wildcats’ balanced attack and number of weapons who can finish scoring chances has been a huge part of their success this season.
“Across the board, we’ve gotten production,” Tizzard said. “We’re playing really well as a team right now, pushing the stronger teams and taking care of business in the games we’re supposed to.”
The Mount Carmel game, though a loss, was indicative of that fighting mentality.
“We threw a nice little scare into them,” Tizzard said. “Even if only to have a chance to tie it up at the end, we battled them all day.”
Prior to that match, Destrehan defeated Ellender 10-0 and South Terrebonne 5-2.
Rigby and Noelle Kelley each scored three times to pace Destrehan in the Ellender win. N’Jha Keller and Hailey-Ann Heyl both scored two goals, while Stephanie Ruiz and Elizabeth Kelley each added one.
Against South Terrebonne, Rigby led the way with two goals, while Heyl, Kelley and Camille Alack each added one.
Friday night sees a key district matchup as DHS will rematch Central Lafourche, who bested Destrehan at Destrehan in December. Central Lafourche leads the district and Tizzard says their physicality is what sets them apart.
“They know how to play,” Tizzard said. “Most of their players play club ball, which is a difference maker. They were a quarterfinalist a year ago and also have almost everyone back. They’re probably the strongest competition in our district and it’s going to be a great test for us.”