The No. 27 nationally ranked St. Amant girls soccer team attacked all night, and East Ascension goalkeeper Maggie Britton kept them out for most of the night.
An early goal by St. Amant’s Adelaide Gaffney stood up as the Gators defeated the Spartans 1-0. Gaffney ripped a shot from the outside the box, which rocketed past Britton. St. Amant (10-2-2) kept the pressure on with a high backline to limit space for East Ascension’s attackers and maintained possession on East Ascension’s side of the field for most of the first half.
Gaffney had another chance to add to the lead at the 28-minute mark but saw her shot bounce off the inside of the post, and it was Britton that saved the rebound by Mya Guillory.
Britton was almost beaten for a second goal in the 35th minute, but Naylie Rodriguez failed to make clean contact with the ball off of a cross from Sarah Cretini.
EA's goalkeeper made a diving save right before halftime, keeping the score at 1-0 heading into the second half.
“When it comes down to it, she’s going to make the saves, she’s going to play her heart out, and she hasn’t let us down yet,” said East Ascension goalkeeper coach Valerie Split-Log. “She works her hardest and keeps us in things.”
The Spartans (9-6-1) eventually put pressure on the three-man backline of St. Amant consisting of seniors Maya Lastrapes and Claire Sheets and freshman Kayla Murillo.
In the 47th minute, Mariah Weleh intercepted an errant pass by St. Amant and fired a shot on goal that was deflected by St. Amant’s goalkeeper. Three minutes later, Weleh split two defenders and brought down a long ball, but her shot was again deflected off the fingertips of the goalkeeper
East Ascension's next chance came in the 64th minute after a foul by a St. Amant defender to the left side of the box. East Ascension’s Elizabeth Austin lifted a ball to the right post, but her shot bounced off the inside of the post.
Britton continued to keep the Spartans in the game with four one-on-one stops in the final 10 minutes.
“She just read our girls well,” said St. Amant coach Joleigh Hartman. “She stood her ground when she saw where they were going. She picked the right spot. I have nothing but praise for that goalkeeper, she is amazing and by far the best goalkeeper in the state.”
East Ascension was given its final chance in the 78th minute but once more had its shot deflect off of the post.
“They came out in the second half and gave us a really good game, and they had several scoring opportunities. That’s what we asked for,” East Ascension coach Jennifer Kennedy said. “I asked them to be proud when they step off the field tonight, and that’s what they are.”