Dutchtown hungry in 08-09 after disappointing finish

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s Chelsea Cruthirds returns after earning district MVP honors last season during a campaign that featured 32 goals.

GEISMAR - Dutchtown experienced its greatest success in its history during the regular season a year ago going undefeated in District 6-1 play with a 10-0 record and winning 20 straight games on way to a 21-3-1 overall record only to lose in the Division bi-district playoffs to Northshore.

“Last year we were undefeated district champions,” Dutchtown head coach Anant Vyas said. “We only loss two games all year and then we loss in the first round to a wild card. It was a shock to the team and has brought them together for this year. They are determined to do well.”

Dutchtown loses  two seniors from that squad that were integral to their success. Gone are first-team all-district selections and all-metro midfielders Haley English, a Mississippi College signee and Laura Poche.

But the Lady Griffins return two seniors to help lead the way in first-team selection Rachel Jimenez and second-team pick Leanne Johnson. Jimenez scored on five goals and assisted on five others, while Johnson had seven assists and six goals.

Dutchtown also returns District MVP Chelsea Cruthrids who led the team with 32 goals and added 12 assists in being selected to the Louisiana High School Soccer Coaches Association’s Division I All-State team.

The list of talent doesn’t end there as first team selection Annie Etzel returns along with second-team selections Lexi Gibbs and Leah Hill. Gibbs had a team-high 15 assists for Dutchtown while scoring 24 goals.

“I think that we are pretty good,” Vyas said. “We are trying to fill those holes in the middle. We are still young when you average it out. We loss two seniors but a lot of the younger girls are picking up the slack.”

Taylor Kelley is Dutchtown’s starting goal keeper and Vyas believes the Lady Griffins will not have to score as many goals with a strong defense.

“We haven’t yet figured out strengths and weaknesses,” Vyas said. “It is too early to tell. It is safe to say that with those coming back offensively, we expect them to produce.”

“I think the strength is the offense. Weakness are in team formations. We need to start working together. The focus has to be developing a new team. I want them to be more mobile and utilize more space quickly in order to be a championship team.”

The Lady Griffins jump into a pre-district schedule that includes Episcopal, Hammond, Zachary, Baton Rouge and Acadiana at home before hosting St. Joseph and traveling to Sacred Heart. Dutchtown will participate in the St. Louis Tournament in Lake Charles before district starts.

“The key will be consistency and utilizing the midfield to create scoring opportunities because just having a potent offense doesn’t do any good,” Vyas said. “It has to be supported.”

“I think this years’ team has a lot of potential. We just want the kids to work hard and believe in each other.”

LADY GRIFFINS DEFEAT EPISCOPAL IN OPENER - Dutchtown got four goals from Lexie Gibbs, two goals from Lindi Robichaux and one from Megan Romaire on way to a 7-1 victory over Episcopal Tuesday at Griffin Field.

Grace Feigley had three saves and Daigre Lipoma one.