EA's season ends in quarterfinals

Kyle Riviere
Blaire Laiche had East Ascension's lone goal in their second-round win over Dominican. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

After a tremendous season that culminated in a district championship and run to the state quarterfinals, East Ascension was beaten by third-seeded Mount Carmel on Monday night--ending their quest for a state title.

To get to their quarterfinal matchup with Mount Carmel, they first had to get by St. Mary's Dominican in the regional round--a team that beat them, 2-0, during the regular season. It was their only in-state loss.

Dominican pressed East Ascension throughout the second half, but the Lady Spartan defense always had the answer. They kept them off of the scoreboard--allowing Blaire Laiche's first-half goal to be the game-winner in a 1-0 victory.

"Sure, it was revenge from the earlier loss in the season. We were fortunate enough to only have the one loss there, but it was just a classic playoff game," East Ascension head coach Chris Goodall said. "Going in, I thought that we were the better team, but it was so close. It was unbelievable, and at the end, I think the people got their money's worth. It was a nail-biter. We couldn't get the second goal, and they came real close to tying it."

The Lady Spartans had an opportunity to score right out of the gate. Valeria Gonzalez had an open shot at the 5th minute, but she wasn't able to finish.

Nicholls State signee Blaire Laiche was good on her opportunity 11 minutes later. She got out front and sent the shot past the goalkeeper to give East Ascension the 1-0 lead.

Laiche had another chance to score at the 30th minute, but she was denied.

Meanwhile, Dominican spent plenty of time close to the Lady Spartan goal, but East Ascension's defense stiffened each time. They were only able to get off two shots in the first half.

In the second period, Dominican controlled much of the action. They out-shot the Lady Spartans, 7-3.

They got off three shots in a short span. One of those shots came when keeper Maggie Britton was away from the goal. Caroline Lecoq ran in just in time to block the shot before it could find its place in the corner of the goal.

East Ascension finally had opportunities to ice the game away late. Gonzalez had two open shots at the goal--one at the 71st minute and another at the 77th. One went wide left, and the other went over the crossbar.

However, the Spartan defense was able to do just enough to keep the aggressive Dominican attack away from the goal.

"We had to go in a defensive shell," Goodall said. "We had to put Blaire Laiche in the back for the last seven or eight minutes. We put Val Gonzalez up top. It was a little tough there at the end, so we had to go into a 5-4-1 shell."

The victory moved the Lady Spartans into the quarterfinals for a road matchup with No. 3 Mount Carmel--a team that went 16-1-7 during the regular season. One of those ties came against East Ascension.

This time around, things got off to a slow start due to the game starting two hours late because of stormy conditions.

The Lady Spartans controlled much of the first-half action. However, they squandered many of their scoring opportunities as the teams headed into the break scoreless.

In the second half, the Cubs took control. They out-shot East Ascension, 7-2. But like the Lady Spartans in the first, they couldn't get any of their shots to go.

After another scoreless half, the game went into overtime. Finally, at the 89th minute, Giselle Aguilera scored to give the Cubs the 1-0 overtime victory. It sent them into the semifinals to play No. 2 St. Joseph's Academy.

The loss ended East Ascension's season at 19-3-3.