Spartans go down to the wire with the Gators

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
East Ascension’s Brandon Hogan.

After Tuesday night, St. Amant is still undefeated. But the Gators’ ability to avoid their first loss didn’t make head coach Adrian Garcia feel any better about his team after the game.

St. Amant faced archrival East Ascension, and the Spartans gave them a much greater challenge than the Gators might have anticipated.

East Ascension actually took a 1-0 lead in the first half. But even when St. Amant tied it prior to the break, the Spartans made sure the Gators never pulled away with the game.

In the end, the contest finished in a 1-1 tie.

“They wanted it more than us,” Garcia said. “They pressed us better, they challenged us and they wanted everything more than we did tonight. They deserved to win.”

St. Amant had some chances to score early, but the Gators could never cash in on them.

At the eighth minute, Holden David made a terrific pass to Colby Forsyth in the box, but his shot was wide.

The East Ascension offense was also very active.

Brooks Lambert worked his way deep inside the box at the ninth minute, but his shot was saved by Gator goalkeeper Dillon Staal.

At minute 23, Brandon Hogan launched a beautiful shot from 30 yards out, but it went just over the goal.

Although, the Spartans finally took advantage of their opportunities at minute 27. Kaden Hogan came up with a gorgeous cross to Lambert, and he finished in front of the goal for a score to give East Ascension a 1-0 lead.

Seven minutes later, St. Amant answered. David charged the Spartan net, and he got the ball past the East Ascension goalkeeper as he attempted a sliding save.

That tied the game at the half.

With the momentum heading into the second half, it appeared the Gators may take control in the final 40 minutes, but East Ascension refused to go away. The Spartans answered every time St. Amant tried to take the lead.

At the 49th minute, David broke free ahead of everyone, but his shot was saved. At minute 62, Forsyth was out ahead in space, but his shot hit the side of the net.

The Gators’ final chance to score came inside of the final two minutes of the game. Soren Gaffney had a point-blank shot right in front of the goal, but he was denied.

The game wasn’t just dead even on the scoreboard. When it came to shots on goal, East Ascension held a razor-thin 14-13 advantage.

It was the second week in a row that St. Amant played a parish rival and settled for a tie. Dutchtown tied them in the week prior.

“We play hard, but our quality is just so poor right now,” Garcia said. “It’s been like that ever since the Dutchtown and Central Lafourche games. Whenever we need a play, we’re not getting it. We’re giving ourselves plenty of chances, but we just aren’t executing.”

It was also East Ascension’s second tie in three games. The Spartans are now 1-1-2 in district play.

St. Amant has still not lost a game this season, but Garcia said that his team must play better if they want to make a deep playoff run.

“This was a playoff atmosphere tonight with playoff pressure, and we just didn’t do what we needed to do to handle our business and get a win,” Garcia said. “Hopefully, the kids understand that in games like this, if you keep teams around and don’t finish your chances, you can get knocked out real early in the playoffs.”