The Dunham School’s boys soccer team endured the cruel side of the sport.
After an opening half in which the Tigers held a decided edge in possession and shots on goal, it was upstart Sterlington that took full advantage of its best shot on goal.
Landon Green buried a penalty kick into the left corner in the 70th minute and No. 10 Sterlington continued its magical ride in the Division IV state playoffs with a 1-0 upset victory Monday over No. 7 Dunham at Burbank’s Soccer Complex.
“We knew they were going to be a scrappy team if we left them in and what happened was going to happen,” Dunham coach Adam Allerton said. “We squandered our chances. We should have had two or three (goals) in the first, and we didn’t.”
The first varsity season continues for Sterlington (14-8-2), which hosts either Episcopal or Covenant Christian.
“At the beginning of the year nobody thought of us as a playoff-contending team, everyone was just writing us off,” Sterlington coach Kyle Keyes said. “These guys took that personal and winning two playoff games in our first year is huge.”
Sterlington, which had two of its three shots on goal in the second half, broke the scoreless match when Green raced up the right side and crossed a pass into the box where Cooper Grunsky was fouled, one of seven in the second half against the Tigers.
The right-footed Green delivered his 28th goal of the season past Dunham goalkeeper Kyle Pastor, who finished with a pair of saves.
“We got a lucky break, and we’re fortunate for that,” Keyes said. “(Dunham) played outstanding.”
The Tigers, who had 13 of their 20 shots on goal, came within an eyelash of taking lead in the 12th minute, when David Milton’s header caromed off the bottom of the crossbar after a pass from Samuel Breaux.
Aguma Muhumuza’s shot after a loose ball in the box after Breaux’s corner rolled directly to Sterlington’s goalkeeper Chandler Jones in the 38th minute.
Two minutes later Dunham had possession when Samuel was fouled after getting through two defenders, but Jones (12 saves) gathered Caden Eagleton’s free kick near the left post.
“It will come back to bite you, that’s how soccer is,” Allerton said. “You don’t take care of your chances, there’s a good chance you’ll lose.”