Executing a corner kick play at the right time, St. Joseph’s Academy defeated Baton Rouge High 2-1 in a key girls soccer match Sunday at BRHS.
SJA’s Audrey Viso took the corner kick from the right side in the 69th minute. The hard hit ball bounded across the box, and junior Kennedy Achord kicked it in from the left side for the winning margin.
“Our defense played really well, except that corner kick,” BRHS coach Sheila Achee said. “Our keeper called for the ball, and somehow the ball went through. Then there was massive confusion at the back post, and they had an easy shot.”
Defending Division I, District 5 champion SJA (13-5-2, 8-0) now has a two-game lead over BRHS (15-6-1, 7-2) in the loss column. Dutchtown (5-3 in district), which defeated BRHS 2-1 last week, is also in the mix.
The teams played to a scoreless tie at halftime. SJA took a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute when sophomore Viso took a 14-yard shot from the left side of the goal.
“Audrey Viso brought the ball to the corner and took a nice shot,” SJA coach Stephanie Broussard said. “It’s hard for keepers to stop those kind of plays at that angle.
“This was a really big win. It’s always a tough game against Baton Rouge High and a battle to the end. Our fitness and determination were key factors. We’re finding our groove as a team.”
BRHS junior Natalie Presedo tied the match at 1-1 in the 63rd minute with a 22-yard shot out top. Guarded by three defenders, Presedo was able to take five quick dribbles and move slightly to the across the top to the right, where she drilled the shot to the top of the net. It was Presedo’s 26th goal of the season.
“You can’t let players as talented as Natalie have a clear shot,” Broussard said. “Our back four really played a great game other than that.”
SJA’s back four of Courtney LeJeune, Lauryn Honore, Caroline Dunn and Fallon Gerald limited BRHS to five shots on goal. In contrast, the Redstickers had 10 shots on goal.
BRHS center midfielder Madeline Bourgeois had three free kicks in the second half. Her ball in the 67th minute bounced past the SJA defense but Hannah Williams was unable to run it down to get a shot. BRHS was unable to get off a shot in the final 12 minutes.
SJA freshman Megan Johnson, who scored three goals in the final six minutes of a 3-0 win over Dutchtown Friday and leads the team in goals with 20, showed good ball skills in the offensive attack.
“Megan is very talented,” Broussard said. “She’s a finesse player and smooth with the ball. You’re going to see good things from her.”
Achee said anything can happen in the district race. BRHS holds the tiebreaker over Dutchtown if the teams finish with the same record. The Bulldogs get another shot at SJA on Jan. 29 at the Burbank Soccer Complex.