Episcopal senior Chima Mbagwu had sage advice for his younger brother Tochi Mbagwu before the Knights game against Covenant Christian in the second round of the LHSAA Division IV soccer playoffs.
The brotherly counsel worked to perfection as both scored goals to lead Episcopal to a 6-1 win at Episcopal.
“I was telling (Tochi) before the game, ‘Hey, man. This is the playoffs. This is the time to score,' ” Chima Mbagwu said.
Chima Mbagwu scored twice in the first half helping second-seeded Episcopal (18-3-6) take 3-0 halftime lead. Tochi Mbagwu, a sophomore, added the Knights’ fifth goal in the second half. It was the first time this season both scored in a game.
With the win advances Episcopal to the quarterfinals where it will play at No. 10 Sterlington. The Knights advanced to the Class III final last season before losing 2-1 to St. Louis.
“We haven’t played for a while. It took us a good five minutes to settle down,” Episcopal coach Kiran Booluck said. “Eventually, when we got into our game plan and started executing, then we started turning the screws, and getting our goals.
“We started playing with more confidence.”
No. 17 Covenant Christian (10-6-5) played tough in the midfield, but had trouble getting off shots. The Lions, who pulled within 3-1 on Trey Aucoin’s 45th-minute header, got off four shots on goal.
Episcopal put the game out of reach thanks to Logan Robertson’s prowess throwing the ball in.
In the 51st minute, Lions goalkeeper Hunter Kaufman caught Robertson’s long throw in from the left side but tumbled into the net giving the Knights their fourth goal.
Four minutes later, Tochi Mbagwu redirected a long Robertson throw in for Episcopal’s fifth goal.
“(Robertson) might need to sign up with the Saints and play quarterback,” Covenant Christian coach Will Wilson said. “I’ve never seen anybody throw it in that long and that accurate.”
Kaufman finished with seven saves after Episcopal got off 13 shots on goal.
Episcopal got going in the 10th minute on Robertson’s throw in from the right side. The Knights set play worked to perfection as Jett Turnley headed the ball into the net for the game’s first score.
The lead grew to 2-0 in the 21st minute after Covenant Christian had a goal kick. Episcopal’s Ethan Webb took control, and sent a pass throught to Chima Mbagwu for a one-on-one goal against Lions’ goalkeeper Hunter Kaufman.
The third goal of the half came in the 33rd minute. Elliott Reimann’s shot from 15 yards out was blocked but not controlled by Kaufman. Mbagwu was there to clean up the miss and put the shot away.
“Credit to Covenant Christian,” Booluck said. “They came at us. It wasn’t what we were expecting. They only showed up 25 minutes before the game, but they came at us and caused us a lot of trouble.”