Dutchtown endures bad weather conditions to earn victory

Kyle Riviere
Alyssa Abbott (No. 9) and the Dutchtown offense was able to get off 17 shots in their 2-1 victory over Denham Springs. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Playing a soccer game in 40-degree weather with the wind swirling and the rain coming down in ice-cold sheets isn’t how most high-schoolers want to spend their holiday break.

But the Dutchtown Lady Griffins needed a win.

Dutchtown was coming off of one of their poorest performances of the season. On the road a few days before Christmas, they took a 3-1 loss to Northshore on the chin. It left a bad taste in their mouths.

On Wednesday night, they were determined to bounce back, and they did. They endured the miserable weather conditions and ground out a 2-1 victory over Denham Springs at home.

"When we came out, our goal was to play really hard and hustle,” Lady Griffin head coach Anant Vyas said. “In the game, we had a lot of shots on goal, so they played well. Plus, our midfield controlled the game very well, and that's how we made the scoring chances occur. I just wish we had scored more."

Dutchtown’s offense was crisp and aggressive for much of the first half, before the rain drenched the area.

Much of their attack was generated by Riley Ely as she dished out long passes down the field.

At the sixth minute, Ely sent a beauty out front to Katie Crochet. Crochet had an open shot at the goal, but her shot went wide left.

Though, five minutes later, Dutchtown cashed in on an opportunity.

Once again, Ely sent another precise pass down the field to Mary Claire Roussel. She raced past a defender on her way to the net, and scored the goal to give the Lady Griffins a 1-0 lead.

Dutchtown had opportunities to expand on the advantage throughout the first half, but they fell short.

Another great Ely pass to Crochet at the 29th minute ended with no points after her shot went wide left.

Later, an Ely penalty kick from neatly 30 yards out was saved on a leaping grab by the Denham Springs goalkeeper at the 32nd minute.

It didn’t help that a steady downpour began late in the first half, making the weather conditions even more frightful.

The Lady Griffins carried their 1-0 lead into the break and held a 9-3 margin in shots.

Dutchtown’s offense continued to play well at the start of the second half.

At the 47th minute, Crochet had an opportunity to score right in front of the goal. Her shot was saved by the keeper. However, Kayla Bougere was there to score off of the deflection to give the Lady Griffins a comfortable 2-0 lead.

With the advantage, Dutchtown took its foot off of the gas, and Denham Springs made them pay.

At the 55th minute, Anndee Barr sent a shot just over the outstretched arms of Dutchtown goalkeeper Gina Sanchez to get Denham Springs within 2-1.

For the final 25 minutes, Dutchtown tried to pad their lead, but they just couldn’t get a goal to go. One promising scoring opportunity ended with them hitting the crossbar at 64.

Fortunately for the Lady Griffins, their defense was outstanding. They limited Denham Springs to just five shots throughout the game. This allowed them to pull out the 2-1 victory.

The Dutchtown offense was active. They had 17 shots for the game.

The victory improved the Lady Griffins’ overall record to 9-4-2 as the district season looms. Their first league game will be on Jan. 5, when they host H.L. Bourgeois.

"The outlook looks good because we've been dealing with lots of injuries, sicknesses and other things,” Vyas said. “We haven't been able to have our team at full potential. Hopefully, after the holidays are over, we can get everybody back. This was a good win after the tough loss."