LAFAYETTE — A handful of first-half opportunities netted little for the Lafayette High soccer team before a scoring burst helped the Lions in a big way.
The Lions broke a 1-1 tie in their Division I bidistrict playoff game against Ouachita Parish by converting their first couple of second-half shots into goals on the way to a 4-1 victory Friday night at Mighty Lion Stadium.
Ninety seconds into the second half, Trevin Kelly sent the ball to Austin Sun Chee Fore, who found the back of the net with a strike for a 2-1 Lions edge. Kyle Farmer increased the lead when his shot trickled into the net two minutes later to make it 3-1 for the 11th-seeded Lions.
“In the first half, we waited back (offensively), and we missed some opportunities,” Lafayette coach Josh Vidrine sad. “I knew if we could play to our potential, we would have some success.”
That early second-half success enabled the Lions to increase the pressure on Ouachita Parish. Lafayette outshot Ouachita 13-3 in the first half and continued that trend during the next 40 minutes. One of the best scoring opportunities for Ouachita came in the final moments when Tyler Sanders sent a pass to Mitchell Campbell. Lafayette goalkeeper Matthew Sellers made the save to preserve the 3-1 lead.
“We pressured their midfielder in the second half, and we didn’t give them as much time to serve the ball (forward),” Vidrine said.
Ouachita opened the match by jumping ahead with 31:30 remaining in the first half. Campbell utilized a strong throw in to set up Aaron Basinger for a header and a 1-0 lead. The Lions were unable to get one past Ouachita goalkeeper Tanner Fulton until Farmer gathered in a through ball from Jean Paul Judice. Farmer sent a skidding effort under Fulton’s outstretched leg to tie the match at 1.
“I just tried to stay mentally focused and keep my eyes up,” Farmer said. “If a keeper is tall, you typically want to try to go low because they will be able to reach pretty much anything up high.”
After Lafayette claimed the 3-1 lead, Kelly closed the scoring with a goal during the final minute.
“Their keeper (Fulton) did well on our shots, and he had a hell of a game,” Vidrine said. “I think we can feed off the way we finished this game and build into the next game.”
That next game is a regional matchup Thursday against sixth-seeded Brother Martin. The two squads faced each other earlier with the Crusaders winning 1-0 win on a penalty kick.
“They have a forward and outside midfielders that are dangerous, but I thought we matched up well with them,” Vidrine said.
Vidrine hopes to see his Lions cash in more chances against the Crusaders than they did against Ouachita.
“I like the chances we created in the second half,” he said. “I wish we had put more of them away.”