On Wednesday night, at The Pit, the Gators gave up two straight second-half goals to fall into a tied game with Baton Rouge. They promptly responded with three scores of their own in the span of six minutes to take a 5-2 advantage.

For the third straight year, St. Amant has established themselves as one of the top eight teams in the state. Now, they're looking for more.

On Wednesday night, at The Pit, the Gators gave up two straight second-half goals to fall into a tied game with Baton Rouge. They promptly responded with three scores of their own in the span of six minutes to take a 5-2 advantage.

St. Amant never relinquished that lead. They went on to win the game and punch their ticket to the state quarterfinals for a third consecutive season.

"You don't draw it up like that, but there was a moment where the momentum switched," Gator head coach Adrian Garcia said. "I told them that in playoff soccer, that's how it is. No one is going to be better than someone else the whole time. Momentum shifts. I thought that when they tied it at 2-2, we kind of settled in and started playing. I saw our intensity rise up, and that's exactly what you want. Those three quick goals helped out."

St. Amant went ahead to start the game. Nine minutes into the contest, Caleb Cretini launched a nice pass out front to Henry Ecker. Ecker was able to get the ball just over the head of the charging keeper. It went in to give the Gators a 1-0 lead.

The Gators had to scathe off some close calls at the end of the first half.

At the 33rd minute, St. Amant goalkeeper Seth Hillegass came up with a save, and just one minute later, he had to make another.

His great defense allowed the Gators to carry their 1-0 advantage into the break.

Just one minute into the second half, St. Amant extended their lead to 2-0 when Ulrich Gaffney scored on a header off of a deflection.

It looked like the Gators were ready to put it into cruise control, but Baton Rouge came storming back. They scored two goals in the span of three minutes to tie the game.

"I thought a lot of it was miscommunication, and I thought a lot of it was nerves," Garcia said. "They cut it to 2-1, and then it went to 2-2. We have seniors that have seen us up 2-0 and lose it and down 2-0 and win it. They've seen it all, so they weren't fazed."

Just three minutes after Baton Rouge tied it, St. Amant went back on top. Cretini set Tyler Bridgewater up with a great pass, and he finished for the goal.

Four minutes later, Bridgewater was fouled in the box as he attacked the goal.

He was injured on the play and had to step out. Cretini kicked the penalty kick from just inside the box and scored to make it 4-2.

Finally, to put the game away, at the 58th minute, Matthew Parker scored on a great corner kick from Ecker.

In the win, St. Amant out-shot Baton Rouge, 17-10.

Cretini had one goal and two assists, and Ecker had one goal and one assist.

The victory set up a home quarterfinal matchup against fifth-seeded Denham Springs. The two teams met back on Dec. 1. The Gators won that matchup, 2-0.

St. Amant has lost in their previous two quarterfinal games. They're looking to change that, despite being without some heavy-hitters from last year's team.

"Credit to these guys," Garcia said. "We lost two All-State players from last year, including the state MVP, and these guys just have a mindset that this is where we need to be; this is where we belong. Our motto all year has been 'rise above,' and that's what we want. We want to get past this. We have a hard test with Denham coming up next week, but this is what we prepare for, games like this."