Dutchtown advances to second round with 4-1 win
If you looked at just the seedings in Friday night's first-round playoff matchup between No. 9 Dutchtown and No. 24 Hammond, you might have thought it was a mismatch.
If you merely glanced at the scoreboard, they might have figured that the 4-1 Griffin victory was a blowout.
Looks can be deceiving.
Hammond made Dutchtown uncomfortable at times as they sent 11 shots their way and forced keeper Christian Carrillo to make numerous saves.
However, late goals by Brock Colon and Zayne Zezulka gave the Griffins some much-needed breathing room in the second half.
"There is no way Hammond is the No. 24 seed. They're the only team this year to score against St. Paul's," Dutchtown head coach Rene Bourgeois said. "They almost got two more against us. Christian made a great save on one, and they hit the post on the other one. Hammond is no slouch. They're very, very good."
The teams went back and forth to start the game. However, in the first 10 minutes, there was only one combined shot.
That changed at the 14th minute when Alec Snell launched a beautiful throw-in right in front of the Hurricane goal, and Zezulka was able to score with a header.
Though, Dutchtown wasn’t able to get comfortable with the 1-0 lead. They had to fend off some close calls on the other end.
At the 27th minute, Hammond got a point-blank shot at the Griffin goal, but Carrillo came up with a great save. Five minutes later, a Hurricane free kick came mere inches from tying the game, but it bounced off of a sidebar.
Dutchtown was able to gain a little separation right before the half.
The Griffins drew a foul inside the box, allowing Michael Greer to take a penalty kick from right in front of the Hammond goal. He smoked it by the keeper to give Dutchtown a 2-0 lead at the break.
The Hurricanes put pressure on Carrillo to start the second half. In the first 12 minutes, they sent three shots his way, but each time, he came up with a save.
Dutchtown missed out on some opportunities of their own.
At the 53rd minute, a point-blank shot by Sethan Ward was saved. At minute 60, a Carter Roussel kick hit the sidebar.
The Griffins didn’t come short at the 65th minute. Greer made a great pass out front to Colon, and he sent a powerful shot past the keeper to finally give his team some breathing room at 3-0.
They officially put the game away six minutes later with a play that mimicked their first goal. Snell again launched a beautiful throw-in right in front of the Hammond goal, and Zezulka finished.
Zezulka led the Dutchtown offense with two goals. Both were set up by throw-ins from Snell.
"Those are special teams. That's what I call throw-ins, free kicks and corner kicks,” Bourgeois said. “We really stole two goals there with those two throw-ins, and we almost got two more. We practice those situations all the time."
Defensively, Carrillo was the star for the Griffins as he came up with nine saves.
Now, Dutchtown will advance to the second round for a road matchup against No. 8 Northshore, a team they beat, 2-0, back on Dec. 29.
"You always hate to have to play a team again that you beat earlier in the year,” Bourgeois said. “We're going to have to match their intensity. When we played a while back, that was one of the most physical games we've played, and we expect it to be the same way this time around. We're going to have to match them, like we did the last time. Hopefully, we can keep this momentum going and pick up another win."