Acadiana High School boys soccer coach Jan Richard was doubled over on the bench embracing his family, who had come across the field to sit in the rain and console the Rams coach.

Richard had just witnessed his team collapse in the final 20 minutes of the Rams Divsion I semifinal playoff game against Jesuit, giving up a three-goal lead to lose 4-3.

It’s the second year in a row Acadiana has fallen in the semifinals. Jesuit will play St. Paul’s, which beat Mandeville 3-0 in the other semifinal, in the Division I title game.

“You go up 3-0 with 20 minutes left and you think you might have a chance, but we self-imploded,” Richard said. “I’ve never had a team self-implode that bad. I feel for my seniors. This is a tough pill to swallow for a great group of seniors.”

The strong wind whipping through the stadium greatly affected the game, with six of the game’s seven goals being scored in the direction the wind was blowing.

Richard said he wished the wind wouldn’t have affected the game as much as it did.

“It’s unfortunate that the wind played such a huge factor, but it made us pay and we made mistakes,” Richard said. “They made us pay, and that’s what good teams do.”

Things started in spectacular fashion for the Rams, with Acadiana taking the lead after 20 minutes of play on a swerving one-touch shot from midfielder Graham Leger.

Ten minutes later Acadiana forward Kade Kling streaked passed the Jesuit defense, took the ball passed the goalkeeper and slotted home another goal to give Acadiana a 2-0 lead.

Jesuit didn’t muster a shot on target until only two minutes remained in the first half.

But then the sides changed, and Jesuit came out with renewed vigor and a blustering wind at its back.

“We felt if we got an early goal we could put the pressure back on them,” Jesuit coach Hubie Collins said. “A 2-0 lead in soccer isn’t always what it seems, and we felt we could get back in it, especially with the wind.”

It didn’t go to plan at first, though.

Jesuit midfielder Chase Rushing’s penalty kick was blocked eight minutes into the second half by Acadiana goalkeeper Zak Elagamy.

The Blue Jays were pinning Acadiana deep in its territory, but couldn’t break through with Elagamy making another crucial save 16 minutes in.

Then against the run of play, Acadiana scored its third goal of the game 19 minutes into the second half. Acadiana defender Aaron Clark delivered a swerving free kick across the face of goal and Kling flashed across the box, freezing Jesuit goalkeeper Otto Candies and allowing the ball to bounce into the goal.

Collins said after going down three goals his team knew they had nothing to lose and threw everything forward.

The comeback started almost instantaneously.

The first goal game with 18 minutes remaining, with Jesuit junior forward Dillon Fuchs reacting first to a ball dropped in by a long throw from senior defender Jack LaForge and pushing the ball across the line.

Fuchs scored the next two goals, both coming within nine minutes of the first, off of corners.

The final goal game with four minutes remaining, off another set piece, after Elagamy dropped a free kick that was delivered into the box and Jesuit pounced first to take the lead.

“Hats off to Jesuit, they made us pay, and it seemed like they wanted it a little more than us in the second half,” Richard said. “Not much more I can say other than that.”

Acadiana had one last chance to equalize in stoppage time, but Kling’s shot dragged wide right, and the Rams weren’t able to generate another chance before the final whistle blew.

While upset with the outcome, Richard praised his team’s spirit and tried to find positives in what was a successful season.

“We had a great season. I’m proud of my kids we battled. We only lost three games this year. We just didn’t do enough.”

Soccer playoff report

Boys

Division I

SEMIFINAL pairings

(4) Mandeville at (1) St. Paul’s

(3) Jesuit 4, (2) Acadiana 3

Final

Saturday

Tad Gormley Stadium, New Orleans

(3) Jesuit vs. (4) Mandeville-(1) -St. Paul’s, 7:30 p.m.

Division II

SEMIFINAL pairings

(5) Vandebilt Catholic 2, vs. (1) Beau Chene 1

(7) Ben Franklin 5, (3) Bolton 0

Final

Friday

Tad Gormley Stadium, New Orleans

(7) Ben Franklin vs. Vandebilt Catholic

Division III

SEMIFINAL results

(1) St. Louis 4, (4) Newman 1

(3) Northlake Christian at (2) University

Final

Thursday

Tad Gormley Stadium, New Orleans

(1) St. Louis vs. (3) Northlake Christian- (2)University 7:30 p.m.

Girls

Division I

SEMIFINAL Results

(1) Mount Carmel 4, (4) Mandeville 0

(2) St. Scholastica 4, (3) Dominican 0

Final

Saturday

Tad Gormley Stadium, New Orleans

(2) St. Scholatica vs. (1) Mount Carmel, 5 p.m.

Division II

SEMIFINAL RESULTS

(1) Loyola 2, (5) Lakeshore 0

(3) Ben Franklin 5, (2) St. Thomas More 3

Final

Friday

Tad Gormley Stadium, New Orleans

(3) Ben Franklin vs. (1) Loyola, 5 p.m.

Division III

SEMIFINAL pairings

(1) St. Louis 4, (4) Newman 1

(3) Northlake Christian 3, (2) University 1

Final

Thursday

Tad Gormley Stadium, New Orleans

(1) St. Louis vs. (3) Northlake Christian, 7:30 p.m.