Although the Destrehan High School boys soccer team is standing at fourth place in district, they’re playoff hopes are still alive if they defeat Hahnville on Friday, Jan. 30 in the final season’s final game. “The final game of the season can be described as a playoff game for both of us,” said Brad Landeche, DHS soccer head coach. “As the standings are right now, the winner is in the playoffs and the loser stays home.
“We try to do everything in our power as a team to make sure that we are not the ones staying home. Hahnville is a very dangerous team, who continues to improve and they beat us in the first round. We have our work cut out for us, if we expect to beat them.”
Landeche reflects on his team’s season stating that they have had their ups and downs.
“The team has performed good all year, as with all teams you have your slumps,” he said. “But you have to get up and fight another day. All, but one of our losses were by one goal.”
Dutchtown and East Ascension proved to be the Wildcats biggest challenge this year, both top ranking teams that beat DHS by one goal. But it’s their parish rivals, the Hahnville Tigers, who pose a season-ending threat.
“We still have Hahnville this Friday night, which will be the most important game we play this year,” said Landeche. “It is a must win for us to make it to the playoffs.”
The Wildcats’ strengths lie within controlling the pace of play in the midfield, but there are weaknesses also.
“We do have to improve our play in the offensive and defensive third of the field if we want to make the playoffs and have success,” continued the coach.
One Destrehan season surprise was the skill development of young freshman and sweeper Alexis Fuentas.
“He has stepped in and has done a good job,” said Landeche. “And Austin Martin has also provided a spark to the team offensively.”
Landeche says that the highlight of the season was winning the Pearl River Tournament and seeing the younger players on the team develop.
“Hopefully we will have the opportunity to create new highlights for this year in the playoffs,” added Landeche. “There are some games that we’ve played this year against some quality teams that I wish we could have back. Some of those one-goal losses, if we can win those they can be a spring board that builds confidence and success in the future.”
Hahnville High School girls soccer coach Shaun Crochet says that despite any adversity, the girls banded together as a team this season.
“We’ve won and lost against some quality opponents, and I think we’ve gained a lot of experience from that,” he said.
“And we’re preparing for the Destrehan game just like any other – one game at a time, every opponent is a quality opponent and we have to do our jobs well to be successful.
Crochet says that the team’s biggest challenge this year was the three Ascension Parish teams – Dutchtown, St. Amant and East Ascension.
“They are all quality, well-coached teams with skilled players,” he said.
The Lady Tigers most noticeable strengths this season included quality goalkeeping and veteran experience. A major weakness was inconsistent play.
Crochet points out that it wasn’t just one player who helped bring the team goals, it was a collective effort.
“The team as a whole had progressed on many different levels, they are all committed to remaining a quality, competitive soccer team in the state of Louisiana,” he continued.
The team’s highlight of the season was winning the coveted Battle on the Bayou in December and now have an outside chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
“Right now, our focus is playing quality soccer for the remainder of the season.