Not even a freezing cold rain and a sloppy field could stop Ascension Christian from earning the program’s first playoff victory Saturday night.
The No. 16 Lions, now in their fourth year as a varsity soccer program, walked away with a commanding 7-0 win over No. 17 Delta Charter, who was also making its first playoff appearance in its second season as a varsity program.
Ascension Christian now moves on to play No. 1 team Episcopal of Acadiana, but for a team just happy to be in the postseason at all, Saturday night was everything they could’ve asked for in the Division IV playoff game.
“We’ve got a big game next. We’ve got to go play the No. 1 team in the state,” coach Ray Linton, "but this was a good game for our program.”
It took the first few minutes of Saturday night for the Lions (5-8-4) to settle into the game, a fact Linton attributes to nerves.
But once they found a point of attack, starting with a goal in the 13th minute by Christian Gurrolla, the offensive barrage never stopped. By the end of the game, Ascension Christian outshot Delta Charter 21-7.
Junior Logan St. Pierre was the driving force for just about everything the Lions did, providing the team with a hat trick of goals and setting up several more.
Even with the game well in hand by halftime, the Lions were pushing to get the ball at the feet of St. Pierre because of the fact that with his third goal of the night in the 72nd minute, St. Pierre broke the program’s record for most goals in a season with 25.
“It means a lot,” St. Pierre said. “I broke the record. It’s awesome.”
St. Pierre also provided his team with an assist and drew fouls on two occasions to force penalty kicks, which teammate Bohdi Linton promptly buried in the back of the net. St. Pierre did get a chance to score a penalty kick of his own, though, in the 46th minute.
On top of the sloppy conditions, it didn’t help Delta Charter’s cause that they were forced to play with 10 men for the final 50 minutes of the game after having a player sent off for a red card.
Ascension Christian, and St. Pierre especially, were able to take advantage of the lopsided game with relative ease.
“Tonight’s game was just an unfortunate circumstance,” said Delta Charter coach Daniel Rivera, whose team fell to 6-11-2. “We were playing with a lot of players who hadn’t gotten a lot of playing time throughout the season who were new. Unfortunately it didn’t work in our favor. We went down 3-0 early and a lot of inexperienced players made a lot of growing-pain mistakes. That’s all it was.”