Lady Gators fall hard to Fontainebleau

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
St. Amant’s Kendal Waguespack (right) battles for the ball during the Lady Gators’ loss to Fontainebleau.

Playing shorthanded on Friday night, St. Amant was looking to upset unbeaten Fontainebleau at The Pit, and for much of the first half, the Lady Gators were in the mix to do just that.

Thirty-seven minutes into the contest, St. Amant was tied with Fontainebleau. But in the closing moments of the first half, the Lady Bulldogs scored to go ahead, 2-1.

That goal turned the game on its ear. In the second half, a close contest quickly turned into a blowout as Fontainebleau outscored St. Amant, 5-0, in the final 40 minutes. That flurry resulted in a 7-1 victory.

“Fontainebleau is always good, so credit them for coming to The Pit and playing so well,” Lady Gator head coach Joleigh Hartman said. “It was revenge for them. Last year, it was the first time we ever beat them at their home field. But this year, we just weren’t really prepared for them. 

“We had some good things happen, but we just couldn’t score when we had the chances. We’re just struggling as a team to gel right now. We’re still trying to find out who’s going to win games for us.”

The Lady Gators were without first-team all-district forward Nya Bridgewater. Bridgewater was competing in a showcase event in Miami.

From the very start, Fontainebleau put constant pressure on goalkeeper Addison Champagne. She was forced to make two saves in the first 12 minutes.

At minute 15, she left the goal to attempt a kick save, but when she missed, the goal was left wide open. The Lady Bulldogs scored to make it 1-0.

But St. Amant answered back just four minutes later. Mallory Sutton scored to tie the game.

Fontainebleau kept attacking. The Lady Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead into halftime with a score on a header that was set up perfectly by a precise corner kick.

The second half belonged to Fontainebleau, although, St. Amant did have its chances early in the period.

At the 46th minute, Sadie Bourgeois sent a pretty pass out front to Sutton. Sutton had a step on the defender and surged inside the box, but her shot was saved.

Three minutes later, a Lady Bulldog sent a shot just over the had of Champagne for a 25-yard goal that put Fontainebleau ahead, 3-1.

From there, the goals came in bunches for the Lady Bulldogs. They scored at the 51st, 52nd, 57th, 60th and 62nd minutes to run away with a 7-1 victory.

Fontainebleau finished the game with 23 shots, while St. Amant came away with just 10. Many of those were taken in the closing minutes of the game. 

“Right now, our confidence as a team is low, as is our togetherness,” Hartman said. “We’re not embodying the word ‘team.’ We’re not looking for people that are open, and then we get down on ourselves and down on the team. It’s little things like that hurting us right now.”

It was St. Amant’s second straight loss, and it dropped the Lady Gators’ overall record to 2-6. 

“We need to find our pride,” Hartman said. “We need to be prideful to step out on the field and wear the black and gold, and find out the meaning of ‘team.’”