St. Thomas More and Beau Chene will face off for the third time this season in boys soccer.
No. 1 STM (17-6-6) hosts No. 5 Beau Chene (14-9-5) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Division II boys soccer semifinals at Cougar Stadium. Unlike the previous two meetings though, one of the two teams will leave the field victorious. The two earlier meetings this season resulted in ties of 2-2 and 1-1.
“It is an advantage and a disadvantage,” STM coach Casey Friend said of playing Beau Chene a third time. “I enjoy playing Chad (Vidrine) and his team. We love the competition. It is like anything else, you want to play the best teams to get better. On the other hand do I want to play a great team three times? No. But I like it too because we have seen them twice.”
“There isn’t really an advantage or a disadvantage,” Vidrine said. “I don’t think it is advantage to one or the other. We know each other very well playing over the last three years.”
The matchup features two of the best, and most consistent boys soccer programs in the Acadiana area. STM is in the semifinals for third time in five seasons, the other two occurring in 2012 and 2014. Meanwhile, Beau Chene is making its fifth semifinal appearance in the past 10 years, including a 2-1 loss to Vandebilt Catholic last season.
That experience has both teams confident heading into Saturday’s showdown.
“For us the message has been finish what you started,” Friend said. “You see the name Jesuit or you see the name St. Paul’s on the jersey, and you start playing the name on that jersey and you scare yourself. I made it known to the boys that our opponents should be scared of you. You are St. Thomas More.”
“It is just a feeling when you look at them on the field,” Vidrine said. “This is a team of confidence right now, and they really believe that this is their year.”
With the two teams being so evenly matched, what is going to make the difference?
For Friend it comes down to not allowing Beau Chene score goals off of set pieces.
“If we go and don’t give them a goal, more importantly if we don’t make the mistake for them, then we will end up winning the game,” Friend said.
For Vidrine it comes to down to desire.
“It is going to come down to who wants it more and comes out the hardest,” Vidrine said. “We like the fact that our boys have the experience of being here. We know what its’ like to be in semifinal games.”
In other boys soccer action Saturday, No. 3 Acadiana (22-2-6) will host No. 10 Grace King (20-5-2) in the Division I semifinals at 5 p.m. No. 1 Catholic-New Iberia (20-2-2) plays No. 5 Northlake Christian (14-3-5) in one of the Division IV semifinals, while No. 3 Episcopal of Acadiana (17-5-1) plays at No. 2 Newman (15-3-3) in the other semifinal.