CHS plays spoiler against St. Amant

Kyle Riviere
St. Amant out-shot Catholic, 12-8, in the 2-1 defeat. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

St. Amant had exactly what they wanted last Wednesday night: a home playoff game, but once again, Catholic of Baton Rouge proved to be a thorn in their side.

The Bears' Cole Cazenave scored a goal at the 76th minute to spark a thrilling 2-1 upset over the fifth-seeded Gators and hand St. Amant their first home loss of the season.

"They were real defensive tonight. Credit them for slowing down our attack," Gator head coach Adrian Garcia said. "I think it comes down to an inch here or there. If we finish a little better, we're in the game and we're not upset right now."

St. Amant came into the contest with a lot of momentum. They were riding a five-game winning streak and fresh off of a district championship. The Gators hadn't lost in more than two months. That defeat also came against Catholic by a score of 2-1.

The Gators certainly had their chances throughout the game.

Just three minutes in, Briggs Bourgeois had an open shot at the goal, but it sailed over the crossbar.

The Bears made St. Amant pay.

At the 25th minute, Matthew Morales broke out in the open and pulled up 30 yards away from the goal. He unleashed a beautiful kick that just got over the outstretched arms of Brenden David to put Catholic up 1-0.

The Gators had three more chances to score. A hot shot from Connor Poche hit the crossbar, a Bourgeois header was saved by Bear goalkeeper Patrick Riley and a score by Hector Rodriguez was negated by an offsides call.

Finally, St. Amant was able to finish at the net to tie the game with just two minutes remaining in the first half.

Following a Seth Benoit corner kick, Trey Cutrer attempted a header, but it was deflected by Riley. Rodriguez was right there for the put-back.

The Gators headed into the half with a 7-4 shot advantage.

The second half saw plenty of missed opportunities for both teams.

A Catholic goal at the 46th minute was negated by offsides. At the 72nd minute, St. Amant had two shots pointblank at the goal, but they couldn't get either to go.

With the game on the verge of overtime, Catholic finally regained the lead. Cazenave was able to squeeze a shot by David to give the Bears the 2-1 advantage at the 76th minute.

The Gators had one final chance to score in extra time. Henry Ecker went for the header, but once again, Riley was there to make the huge save.

Despite the loss, St. Amant out-shot Catholic, 12-8. Their inability to get their shots to go made the loss even more excruciating.

"That's been the story the last few weeks: we just haven't been finishing," Garcia said. "I mentioned that if we executed, we'd be in the game and have a chance to win, but we didn't execute on our chances tonight. We missed out on some scoring opportunities, and a good team will make you pay for that."

There was tremendous play from both goalkeepers. Riley made six saves, while David came through with five.

The Bears have been the Gators' Kryptonite this season. Ever since Bourgeois and the rest of their football players returned to the roster, St. Amant only lost two games this year. Both came against Catholic.

Even though the razor-thin second-round exit hurts, Coach Garcia was proud of what his team was able to achieve this season.

"For our seniors, I'm definitely proud of what they accomplished this year," Garcia said. "You wish for more for those guys going out, but it's a great senior class. We can build on this heading into next year."