All of the River Parish teams remaining in the high school soccer playoffs are on the road for the second round of the postseason.
The St. Charles Catholic girls play at Catholic High of New Iberia at 6:30 p.m. in the Division IV playoffs Wednesday. The Lutcher girls travel to Shreveport for a 4 p.m. encounter with Loyola Prep in Division III. The Destrehan boys face Brother Martin at 7 p.m. at Pan American Stadium in Division I.
The Destrehan girls were eliminated 6-0 Monday at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge in the Division I playoffs.
St. Charles Catholic at Catholic High of New Iberia (girls): No matter the sport, it seems SCC always runs into Catholic High of New Iberia in the playoffs.
“We’ve seen them before in the last couple of years,” Comets coach Travis Trepagnier said. “They are pretty sound. They are well-controlled in the center of the field between their midfielders. We are going to have to be pretty poised and focused on what we are doing and capitalize on mistakes, if they make any. We have to be limited on our end as far as the mistakes we make.”
St. Charles, the No 11 seed in the Division IV bracket, advanced to take on CHNI, the No. 6 seed, after a 2-0 opening-round win over Covenant Christian.
The heart of the SCC defense is senior laden with goalkeeper Taylor Abair and defenders Collette Rainey, Kristin Smith and Valerie Perilloux.
“They are my defensive stouts and they have been playing with me for a lot of years,” Trepagnier said.
Forward Anna Guidry, another senior, is the team’s second-leading scorer.
Topping the Lady Comets (13-5-1) in scoring is junior Antoinette Chiarella.
“Antoinette Chiarella is a gifted athlete. She understands where to be. It doesn’t matter what sport you put her in, she is going to shine,” said Trepagnier.
To advance to the next round, the Lady Comets just have to play their own brand of soccer, according to Trepagnier.
“We will have limit our mistakes and we will have to guard the ball on big run. We are definitely a small-ball team. We will work the ball down the field and try to find the net. We are not a move-the-ball-down-the-field and try to pound it in there. It will take passes to get down there. If we can do that, we can be successful. We also will have to focus on stopping their midfield from moving into our defense, which I’m confident that we can,” the St. Charles coach said.
Lutcher at Loyola Prep (girls): The Lady Bulldogs’ playoff journey also became a long one as they travel to Shreveport to take on Loyola Prep, the No. 1 seed in Division III.
“It’s great that we are making it there. It’s a four-and-a-half, five-hour trip is long and can take its toll but we will show up and give it our all,” Lutcher coach Neta Bourgeois said.
The season marked the return of Bourgeois as the Lady Bulldogs’ coach.
Bourgeois, who started the program nine years ago, returned this year when the previous Lutcher coach left shortly before the start of the season.
She inherited a team that won only two games the previous year and the Lady Bulldogs got off to a slow start this season.
“We had a very slow start. I think we had one win the first half of the season. At the end of season, we started turning things around. We made some moves with putting people into position and we all started clicking,” said Bourgeois.
Maria Detillier, a sophomore, is Lutcher’s top scorer with 20-plus goals on the season.
“She is our playmaker,” Bourgeois said.
Things started to turn around for the Lady Bulldogs at midseason, Bourgeois said, when they inserted junior Kelsi Lambert, into the lineup while playing sports for the first time.
“She was tough and had some speed. Since we’ve made that switch, we have been doing well,” the Lutcher coach said.
Another key player is senior Kimberly Hymel, who has been in the program since the seventh grade.
“She’s our corner kicker. She’s a crosser. She’s also a playmaker,” said Bourgeois.
Another senior who has stepped up this season is defensive midfielder Heather Tregre.
“She has made a huge difference since we moved her to that position in the second half of the season,” Bourgeois said.
Lutcher lost nine of its first 12 games before turning things around to go 9-11-2 in the regular season to qualify for the playoffs.
In the opening round, the Lady Bulldogs, the No. 16 seed, rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat No. 17 seed Erath 6-1.
“That was exciting,” Bourgeois said. “I thought we had a chance with the way we were playing to end the season. We had one goal at half. The second half, they pressured us really hard. We started working, and the next thing I know, we had five goals in the second half.”
Now, it’s top seed Loyola Prep.
“We will try to pressure them early and see if we can take advantage of our opportunities,” Bourgeois said.
Destrehan at Brother Martin (boys): The game with No. 6 seed Brother Martin will be a rematch for the Wildcats. Early in the season, the Wildcats lost to the Crusaders 4-0.
“After that game, we stepped it up a little bit more and I think we never lost a game after that. We have been pretty consistent. We have a lot of young players and I’m trying to get them mentally ready. They can play. If they come out and play, they can play with anybody,” said Destrehan coach Jhovanny Santamaria.
After the loss to Brother Martin, the Wildcats won their final five games of the regular season to head into the playoffs with 14-6-1 record.
In the opening round of the playoffs, Destrehan, the No. 11 seed, defeated No. 22 seed East Ascension 5-2.
In that game, Owen Alack scored two goals for Destrehan, while the Wildcats also got one each from Nicholas Morrow, Michael Cespedes and Will Bryant.
Morrow is one of the captains, along with Keith Mitchell and Holden Harrell.
Featuring a young squad with three seniors, two who start, Destrehan made the move from Division II to Division I this season place in a league with the likes for Brother Martin and Jesuit.
“We handled ourselves well in Division I,” said Santamaria.
The Wildcats play an attacking style under Santamaria.
“The best defense is the best offense,” the Destrehan coach explained. “I like to possess the ball so we can manage the game. If we can control the ball, we can manage the attack.
“This season, we worked a lot on defense. Brother Martin was the only team to score four goals against us in the whole entire season.”
The Wildcats, Santamaria said, learned from their first encounter with Brother Martin.
“We learned their style of play,” the Destrehan coach said. “I don’t think they are going to change it. They are a very strong team. They have confidence in what they do.
“We worked this week a lot moving in space – making sure we don’t allow them to get any space with the ball,” Santamaria continued. “We worked on the attackers. The attackers have speed have speed when they are receiving the ball, so we have worked on a lot of that.
“They (the Wildcats) can play with anybody if they come to play. I have confidence we probably will be able to win this game.”