The No. 15 Northshore Panthers lost in stunning fashion to No. 2 Acadiana in the regional round of the boys soccer playoffs.
Acadiana’s Kade Kling unleashed a hard shot into the upper left corner of the net in the eighth minute of the first overtime to down the Panthers 2-1.
Northshore coach Brian Lazaroe said sometimes teams just get beaten by incredible plays, and Kling’s shot was one of them.
“You have to tip your hat off to Acadiana; they are a quality side,” Lazaroe said. “The shot was just something you have to accept, that’s the game of soccer.”
Kling’s shot was one of the only to beat Northshore senior goalkeeper Larry Newby.
Newby made several difficult saves throughout the night, holding the Rams at bay despite Acadiana’s dominating possession time.
Lazaroe said Newby was integral to Northshore’s success this season and without the senior’s efforts the Panthers would have never made it as far as it did.
“I think he’s the best goalkeeper in the state and you saw why here tonight,” Lazaroe said. “I wish him the best of luck next year at the college level.”
Newby plays for the New Orleans Jesters, who Lazaroe coaches.
The Panthers took the lead in the 20th minute off a corner kick after a scrum in the box resulted in a goal.
Northshore held the lead in the first half, but conceded a goal in the opening minutes of the second half to allow the Rams back into the contest.
But the Panthers were able to hold onto 1-1 score through regulation time, and forced the Rams into overtime.
Lazaroe said he had confidence going into overtime, with the Panthers winning their first-round game in double overtime against New Iberia.
“I told them to dig deep and remember the experience from last week,” Lazaroe said.
Acadiana coach Jan Richard said he wanted the Rams to score in the first overtime to put pressure on Northshore to come out of their defensive shell and attack. Kling answered the call in spectacular fashion in the eighth minute, beating Newby with an unstoppable shot.
“That’s exactly the kind of shot you need to beat a goalkeeper of that quality,” Richard said.
In the second overtime, Northshore pushed bodies forward in an attempt to get an equalizer and send the game into penalty kicks, but could never penetrate the Rams defense, led by Dylan Castaneda.
“(Castaneda) came up big for them in the second half and into overtime,” Lazaroe said. “I thought if we could get it to penalties we had a chance because we’ve had a lot of success there, but we just couldn’t break through.”