Gibbs delivers Lady Griffins’ victory over EA?in defensive tussle
Dutchtown’s Lexi Gibbs split three East Ascension defenders on a pass from Chelsea Cruthirds with 14 minutes remaining for the lone goal in a 1-0 District 6-1 victory Wednesday night at Spartan Stadium.
“It was very big,” Dutchtown head coach Anant Vyas said. “She didn’t get much space on it but I think the defenders were frozen in a way because it wasn’t a very fast paced shot and it was low.
"Overall, I was impressed with EA’s intensity. I think that made a big difference for us trying to get the ball to Chelsea and Lexi in places where they have time to take shots. We had shots but not too many quality shots because they denied us time.”
No. 6 Dutchtown (13-3-2, 3-0) moved into a first-place tie with St. Amant atop district standings ahead of East Ascension (7-5-2, 1-2). The Lady Spartans other district loss was a 1-0 setback to St. Amant.
“Yes, it is heartbreaking and tough but I am so proud,” East Ascension head coach Christopher Goodall said. “We couldn’t have done anything more. The girls gave everything they could. You can talk about it briefly but you have to get ready for the next one. It is not the result in this case but how we played and I think we probably played our best game of the year.”
Arienne Ferchaud provided 13 saves for East Ascension and Taylor Kelley had six for Dutchtown.
The Lady Griffins dominated the first half taking far more shot but East Ascension’s defense held them scoreless. Dutchtown took the first five shots of the game but Ferchaud stepped up preventing a score. Alyssa LeBlanc’s far kick pulled Kelley out of the goal for the Lady Spartans’ first shot before two breakaways from Gibbs, the later kicked out by Ferchaud.
“We had opportunities,” Vyas said. “Arienne played a heck of a game in the goal. We could not find room in the box where we could execute those finishes and it was good defense by EA. We used only one side of the field. If we would have opened the space more then it would have opened up their defense more. These games are always like this. EA, St. Amant and Dutchtown games are always close and they always come out and play very hard.”
East Ascension came closest to scoring in the first half when LeBlanc’s far shot bounced off the crossbar and Janel Boylan’s return shot was high. Cruthirds’ drive was tipped by Ferchaud before her direct kick went over the top of the goal before half-time.
“It was a game of two halves,” Goodall said. “We felt extremely good how it went in the first half even though there was definitely a lot more offense from them. Defensively, we played like a rock. Brooke Lambert, Alacey Monconduit and Caitlin Roddy were just amazing in the back and our goal keeper Arienne made some really great saves in the first half but the funny thing was the team that came the closest to scoring was us hitting the bar."
Dutchtown slightly out shot the Lady Spartans in the second half. Kelley caught Kristin Simoneaux’s free kick and scooped up Ashley Hunsberger sandwiching Ferchaud’s grab of Gibbs’ shot from Cruthirds.
Then, Cruthirds fed Gibbs in between Lambert, Roddy and Monconduit just in front of the goal for the deciding goal with 66 minutes into the contest.
“We did a good job with substitutions and in the last 20 minutes we had more possession,” Goodall said. “Dutchtown is a very fit team like I feel we are but due to our substitutions we were able to pile it on pretty hard toward the end trying everything we could.”
Cruthirds would get three more shots on goal, one off the sidebar which allowed a return shot wide right before Keely Villar’s shot was wide right and Megan Romaire’s break went high.