EA defense shines in win over Dutchtown

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
East Ascension's Valeria Gonzalez scored their lone goal in their 1-0 win over Dutchtown. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

After going nearly a month without a victory, the East Ascension Lady Spartans were hungry for a win. Thanks to their defense, they finally got one on the road against parish rival Dutchtown last Tuesday night.

East Ascension had to fend off a flurry of shots in the first half, but by the time the second period rolled around, they held the Lady Griffins in check. They minimized their shots and captured a 1-0 victory.

"I thought our defense was the MVP. They were really solid," Lady Spartan head coach Chris Goodall said. "Defensively, we didn't put many feet wrong, and we really limited them. In the first half, they were really getting off the best shots in the game."

Dutchtown was the aggressor for much of the first 40 minutes. They quickly attacked the goal--forcing East Ascension goalkeeper Margaret Britton to make a great save at the 6th minute.

After that opening scare, the defenses settled in, and there was only a total of three shots at the goal in the first 14 minutes between both teams.

The Lady Griffins picked up steam and began to attack, but they could never get off any significant shots.

After struggling for much of the first half to mount any offense, East Ascension finally was able to break through in the closing moments. They forced Dutchtown goalkeeper Sofia McNulty to make a save at the 38th minute.

In extra time, they got off two more unsuccessful shots at the goal. This late surge seemed to give them momentum going into the break.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Blaire Laiche got out in front and fed the ball to Valeria Gonzalez for a goal.

"We scored 90 seconds in. We talked about some different things we could do to start the second half, and in typical girl's fashion, it usually takes 20 minutes to make that happen, so it was nice," Goodall said. "If felt good, and it was deserving for the girls because we ended the half in a good spot. That was two really good teams battling away there."

After the East Ascension goal, both defenses took control, and both goalkeepers stood tall.

The Lady Spartans had an opportunity to score at the 65th minute when a corner kick was launched toward Dari Johnson, and she finished it off with with a header, but McNulty came through with a brilliant save.

McNulty made another great save three minutes later after a shot by Kelsey Richey.

Dutchtown had their final chance to tie the match at the 75th minute when Brianna Melancon got out in front. It looked like she had a sure goal, but Britton slid to the ground and blocked the ball away with her legs.

Her timely save allowed East Ascension to clinch the 1-0 win in what was a remarkably even affair.

Each team ended the match with 14 shots at the goal. McNulty finished with six saves, while Britton finished with five.

It was East Ascension's first win since Dec. 12. Ever since that victory, the Lady Spartans had played in three matches that resulted in one loss and two ties.

"We've only had the one loss, but we've had some ties. If you finish two-thirds of the season with only one loss, it's good, but we went three games where we haven't scored," Goodall said. "Dutchtown and EA girls--no matter who's good and who's bad--it's never a high-scoring affair. You really have to earn it.

"It was nice for the girls to get the win. It would have been nice to get the cherry on top and get one at the end, but we'll take it. It was a nice win."

The victory pushed East Ascension's overall record to 11-2-3, while it was Dutchtown's fourth straight loss. It dropped them to 9-5-1.