Lady Griffins blank Sulphur to secure first-round victory

Kyle Riviere
Bailey Fournet and Dutchtown blanked Sulphur, 4-0, to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Photo by Kyle Riviere

Shutouts were a common theme for Dutchtown toward the end of the season. In five of their seven straight wins to finish out the year, they held their opponents without a goal.

That trend carried over to the playoffs.

Hosting No. 17 Sulphur in first-round action on Thursday night, the Lady Griffin defense was smothering as they held the Tornados to just three shots for the entire game, and once again, they preserved a shutout.

But it wasn’t just their defense that shined. Offensively, they were active all night as they unleashed a barrage of shots toward the Sulphur net. They were able to get four to go in what turned out to be an easy 4-0 victory.

Dutchtown came into the contest brimming with confidence after going undefeated in league play, which ultimately yielded them a district championship.

They were on the offensive from the very start.

Just three minutes into the contest, Delaney Zybko came mere inches from scoring after her shot hit the top crossbar.

But at the 14th minute, the Lady Griffins finished on a scoring opportunity.

A Kyra Coleman throw-in set up Katie Crochet perfectly right in front of the goal, and she was able to smoke the ball past the goalkeeper to give Dutchtown a 1-0 lead.

Eight minutes later, Zybko went back to work.

She was able to beautifully maneuver through multiple defenders and break out into the open. The goalkeeper tried to surge forward and make a sliding save, but Zybko got the ball off just in time to find its place at the back of the empty net.

Already up 2-0, Dutchtown had two other opportunities to score before the half, but they came up short.

A powerful Zybko shot from 20 yards away hit the crossbar, and a great look from Kayla Bougere also hit the crossbar at the 35th minute.

The misses forced the Lady Griffins to settle for the 2-0 lead at the half. They also held an 8-2 advantage in shots at the break.

For the first 15 minutes of the second half, the offensive pace slowed down for Dutchtown. Things didn’t pick up until Riley Ely got a phenomenal shot to go.

Ely got a free kick from nearly 30 yards out. She wasn’t worried about making an assist; she went for the goal. Her powerful kick approached the goal on a line and went just over the outstretched arms of the keeper to give the Lady Griffins a 3-0 advantage.

Dutchtown got their final goal at the 59th minute.

A corner kick by Ely was deflected and made its way to the feet of Gabbie Spriggs. She finished with a goal to ice away the 4-0 win.

Lady Griffin head coach Anant Vyas was thrilled with the victory, but he said there were still things his team can improve upon moving forward.

"I think after the second goal, we lost a little bit of our intensity,” Vyas said. “To the other team's credit, they had good execution, and they didn't make many mistakes passing. They were always ball side, so at midfield, we sometimes lost the ball. Against EA and St. Amant, we owned the midfield. In this game, it was probably 60/40. Still, we were able to control the game enough and get the win."

Besides the scoreboard, Dutchtown also dominated in shots. They out-shot Sulphur 16-3.

The victory was the eighth straight for the Lady Griffins.

"I think what's happening is the girls' work-rate is increasing, and it's opening up passes,” Vyas said. “Also, once they lose the ball, they're coming back on transition. I think the energy level has been up, and players have been showing a lot of strength in their positions."

The win set up a second-round matchup on the road against top-seeded Acadiana, a team that went 18-1-4 during the regular season.