Gators get back on track with shutout victory
St. Amant was able to bounce back at home on Friday night, as they avoided a three-game skid by blanking Beau Chene, 2-0.
The Gators began the year on quite the hot streak. They ran out to a 5-1 record, with their lone loss coming against defending champion St. Paul's.
However, prior to Friday night, they were winless in their previous three games. They had a draw against Byrd, and they followed it up with back-to-back losses to West Jefferson and Denham Springs.
Much of the Gators' struggles have come as a result of starters being out of action. Even in their 2-0 victory over Beau Chene, St. Amant was shorthanded.
"Tonight, we were missing our captain and center-mid (Nick Goscha). We just haven't had a game where we've had everybody, so we've needed people to step up. In our last two games, no one did," Gator head coach Adrian Garcia said. "I thought that tonight we had some younger guys step up. We left some goals out there, but I'm hoping we can continue to step it up until we get our full squad back. Hopefully, this will develop some depth."
The St. Amant offense was aggressive throughout, and they had plenty of opportunities to score, but they failed to capitalize on numerous occasions.
They did finally get on the board at the 27th minute when Colby Forsyth sent a corner kick into the box. He set up Ulrich Gaffney, who finished for the score.
And just one minute later, Tyler Bridgewater got out in front and raced past multiple Beau Chene defenders. He then finished at the net to give St. Amant a 2-0 advantage.
The Gators out-shot Beau Chene, 15-2, in the first half.
In the second half, St. Amant dominated, but they had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
At the 42nd minute, Forsyth took a deep shot from 30 yards away, but the goalkeeper just got a hand on it before it could fall in over his head.
Bridgewater and Triston Arceneaux each had point-blank shots in front of the goal, but the goalkeeper made excellent saves.
At the 77th minute, Gaffney had an open shot and tried to squeeze it in from an angle, but the ball caught just enough of the side bar not to go in for the goal.
But the way St. Amant's defense played, they didn't need anymore scores in the second half. They held Beau Chene to just one shot on goal in the final 40 minutes, and they held them to just three for the entire game.
"We pride ourselves on defending, and that's why I was so upset with the last two games. We gave up a lot of goals," Garcia said. "We have a really good goalkeeper, and we have seniors back there. We just need to be organized. If we can keep the ball off the net, we can't lose."
The victory improved St. Amant's overall record to 6-3-1.
District play is right around the corner for the Gators. They'll open league competition at home on Jan. 10, against H.L. Bourgeois.
Coach Garcia would like to see some improvements by then.
"We have to be able to score," Garcia said. "Tyler and Ulrich each had some shots tonight that they really should have put in. We have to capitalize on those and put the ball in the net and take pressure off of our defense and our goalkeepers."