SOCCER

Gator offense hits on all cylinders in shutout victory

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Freshman Tyler Bridgewater scored one of the Gators' six goals in their shutout victory over New Iberia. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

The St. Amant boy’s soccer team was flying high on Tuesday night after a crushing 6-1 win over Woodlawn. There was no letdown two days later.

Hosting New Iberia, the Gators scored two goals in the first 10 minutes—including one just seconds into the game. They never let up as they cruised to a 6-0 shutout victory.

"I love this group,” St. Amant head coach Adrian Garcia said. “We've got seniors; we've got incoming freshmen. We're just solid in every aspect, so they have to understand that the only ones that can slow them down are themselves, and we didn't slow ourselves down tonight. We did a good job."

In Tuesday night’s big win over Woodlawn, Brazilian exchange student Angelo Fabrico was the headliner as he secured a hat trick. The three goals gave him a whopping 20 for the season.

On Thursday night, Fabrico had his success, but it was Henry Ecker that was the true catalyst for the Gator offense.

Less than a minute into the contest, Tristan Alexander got the ball out front to Ecker. Ecker’s first shot was saved by New Iberia goalkeeper Angel Rosas, but Ecker scored off of the deflection.

About eight minutes later, David Barbera got the ball to Tyler Bridgewater inside the box, and Bridgewater set up Ecker with a great cross. Ecker finished to put St. Amant up 2-0.

The Gator offense was constantly attacking. They let off six shots in the first 10 minutes.

After scoring two goals, Ecker then went to distributing. At the 20th minute, he sent in a precise corner kick that Caleb Cretini was able to send through to put the Gators up 3-0.

Fabrico then got involved.

He was fouled inside the box at the 23rd minute, giving him a penalty kick. He smoked it past Rosas for the 4-0 advantage.

To close out the first half, Fabrico then came up with an assist. His pass went to Kade Jarreau for the goal.

At the half, St. Amant had an astounding 20-2 advantage in shots. New Iberia’s first shot did’t come until 35 minutes into the game.

In the second half, the Gators put it in cruise control and mostly focused on keeping New Iberia away from their net.

However, they did score one goal when Bridgewater put one through at the 51st minute.

Ecker finished with two goals and an assist, while Fabrico had one goal and an assist.

The Gator offense attacked Rosas all night. They forced him to make 10 saves as they sent 34 shots his way.

Meanwhile, New Iberia was only able to get three shots off for the entire game. They had just one in the second half.

Gator Goalkeeper Brenden David hardly had to break a sweat. He was only forced to make one save.

"When you have a four-year starting goalie and a three-time All-State center in Hector Rodriguez, you should have good defense, and we do. The rest of the guys take pressure off of them by scoring goals, and that makes for an easy night,” Garcia said.

St. Amant is off to a terrific start. The blowout victory over New Iberia improved their record to 13-1. Their only loss was to top-ranked and defending champion St. Paul’s.

The Gators are averaging four goals per game.

Garcia attributes their great start to the hard work they’ve been putting in off the field.

"A huge thing this year that we've been doing differently is we're spending more time in the weight room,” Garcia said. “I think it's been our biggest step up. It's been helping us prevent injuries and get stronger. It's giving us more confidence as a team."