Dutchtown girls fight back from 3-1 down to stun St. Amant
On Friday night at The Pit, the St. Amant girl’s soccer team was just 30 minutes away from taking a stranglehold of the district. Then things went awry.
Facing a 3-1 deficit 50 minutes into the game, rival Dutchtown picked themselves up off of the canvas and made a hard charge that the Lady Gators could never contain. They outscored St. Amant, 3-0, in the final 30 minutes to capture a wild 4-3 comeback win.
"The girls didn't give up after being down 3-1. They kept fighting, and we found the midfield. Once we did that, we were able to have some success,” Lady Griffin head coach Anant Vyas said.
It was a bitter loss for the Lady Gators, who were looking to win their second straight district championship.
"Our intensity was not there in the second half. I think we got comfortable with the 3-1 lead, and we got satisfied,” St. Amant head coach Joleigh Hartman said. “But with high-school sports, things like that happen in rivalry games. What you bring to the field, it trumps records. It trumps where you are in state. This is the best thing about high-school sports is that underdogs come alive."
Things were nip and tuck early in the first half.
Eight minutes in, St. Amant’s Adelaide Gaffney made a nice cross to Sarah Cretini. Her shot was wide right, but Rachel Critini was there to clean up at the net. Her goal gave the Lady Gators the early 1-0 lead.
Though, Dutchtown was able to tie the game just 11 minutes later when Delaney Zybko smoked a shot past Lady Gator keeper Karlie Delhommer.
That score seemed to fuel St. Amant as they went on a dominating run right before the half.
At the 28th minute, Gaffney put the Lady Gators back on top when she scored on a penalty kick just outside of the box.
Five minutes later, Rachel Critini came up with a steal and got the ball out front to Mya Guillory. Guillory scored to give St. Amant a comfortable 3-1 advantage.
Right before the half, Gaffney appeared to put the Lady Gators up 4-1, but her goal was negated by an offsides call.
That proved to be costly, because the second half belonged to Dutchtown.
At the 51st minute, the Lady Griffins were able to inch closer as they got a score from Alyssa Abbott.
A minute later, they came very close to tying the contest on a shot by Zybko, but her kick was just wide of the goal.
Dutchtown trailed 3-2 all the way until the 65th minute. That’s when Sarah Guedry set up Riley Ely, who finished at the net to tie the contest.
In the final 30 minutes, the Lady Griffins dominated offensively. They spent most of that time near the St. Amant net, forcing Delhommer and the Lady Gators to make saves.
No one could come up with a stop at the 77th minute.
With the game looking like it would end in a draw, Dutchtown’s Kayla Bougere sent a hot shot past Delhommer that gave the Lady Griffins their first lead of the game at 4-3.
In the final three minutes, they were able to play defense and keep St. Amant off of the scoreboard to collect the victory.
In the first half, the teams each had five shots. In the second, Dutchtown out-shot St. Amant, 9-5.
"I think in the second half, we put more pressure on the ball, and we were more aggressive with the ball. In the first half, we were more defensive. So, being aggressive helped out and allowed us to control the ball,” Vyas said.
The loss was the first for St. Amant since Nov. 27. They came in winners of five of their previous six games. The defeat also snapped their streak of nine straight district victories, dating back to last season.
As for Dutchtown, it was their fourth straight win. The victory now puts them in the driver seat for the district championship.
Coach Hartman thought that Friday night’s game was a great example of how competitive the sport is in the parish.
She said, "Gonzales soccer is just phenomenal right now. To see the high-school level around here have the caliber of teams that we have, I think it's awesome for Ascension Parish."