Boys soccer playoffs: Acadiana blanks Byrd 2-0, advances to semifinals _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Acadiana High's Jacob Judice, left, looks to advance the ball past Byrd's Mason Varnell on Tuesday at Acadiana High School.

SCOTT — Bailey Deroussel was having a frustrating night.

The Acadiana soccer standout had numerous opportunities to score a goal during Tuesday night’s playoff game against visiting Byrd.

Deroussel was unable to take advantage of those scoring chances as once he pushed the ball too far, or not hit it hard enough and even twice losing the ball to a defender.

That frustration eventually gave way to jubilation for the Wrecking Rams senior.

In the 33rd minute of the second half, Deroussel broke through with his first goal of, set up with an assist by Blaize Melancon. That goal put the finishing touches on No. 3 Acadiana’s 2-0 victory over No. 6 Byrd in the Division I quarterfinals.

With the victory, Acadiana advances to the state semifinals for the third straight season.

“It felt great,” Deroussel said. “Words can’t describe it. It was amazing.”

Acadiana (22-2-6) was held scoreless in the first half as more than a few shots on goal did not find the back of the net. The closest of those tries was Jamison Angelle’s header who barely missed the mark.

“We weren’t hustling like we normally do,” Deroussel said. “We were losing too many first balls out there.”

“At halftime you could tell they were frustrated,” Acadidana coach Jan Richard said.

Ten minutes into the second half, Acadiana got on the board as Dylan Castaneda scored off a deflection.

Byrd (15-4-3) had an opportunity to respond, though, as the Yellow Jackets had a few chances to tie the game. But Acadiana goalkeeper Zach Elagamy blocked shots by Sam Miletello and Ben Smith. A few minutes later, Elagamy also then made a stellar dive to deflect Angel Abrego’s goal attempt.

Acadiana seized control with Deroussel’s goal.

“We just keep finding ways to win,” Acadiana coach Jan Richard said. “We had a tough time out there finishing, but our defense did a good job of really preventing them from having good chances. Byrd gave us a test tonight.”

Acadiana will face Grace King in the semifinals Saturday.

After back-to-back semifinal appearances, Deroussel for one said this year is different.

“I really feel that this is our year to go all the way,” Deroussel said.