The Northlake Christian boys soccer team was not going to let the upset bug bite them like it did to their classmates in the girls playoffs.
So they got their goal early.
Mason Cook’s goals in the third and 54th minute proved to be the game-winners as No. 3 Northlake Christian defeated No. 14 Parkview Baptist 3-1 in the regional round of the Division III playoffs.
Northlake (18-1-8) advances to take on No. 6 Episcopal of Acadiana, which defeated Rapides in the regional round.
Earlier in the day the Northlake girls squad, which was the top-ranked team in Division III, fell to Country Day 1-0.
Cook said hearing about the upset loss of the girls squad forced the team to be focused from the first whistle against a tough Parkview squad (15-11).
“It was something we absolutely paid attention to,” Cook said. “Because when you see something like that, you know at any given moment and on any given day you can get beat. It doesn’t matter how good you think you are.
“If you don’t play well, you are going to get beat. Parkview is a really good team.
“I think we showed it early on really coming out and putting the pressure early on those guys and we were able to break out in front with the early goal. We knew if we could keep pounding their defense with shots that sooner or later one or two would break through. It just was the case that three of them did and we won the match.”
The intensity was evident early on and Cook put Northlake Christian on the board before many fans got to their seats when he was able to split through the Eagles defense and find the back of the net to put the Wolverines ahead.
Leading 1-0 midway through the second half, Cook had three shots on goal in the span of four minutes with the last one getting past the goalkeeper to extend the lead to 2-0 in the 54th minute.
Once play resumed, Parkview’s Dillon Hoglen had the highlight of the night as he launched an 80-yard shot which bounced pass the NCS goaltender to cut the lead to 2-1.
Richard Humphrey gave Northlake an insurance goal in the 76th minute via a penalty kick after a yellow card was called in the box on Parkview Baptist.
Eagles coach Roger Charcap said he was proud of his team’s effort against one of the better teams in the state.
“They played their hearts out and left everything out on the field,” Charcap said. “We told the guys before the game that we had to get off to a good start and not fall behind early because the longer we stayed in the game the better our chances increased to come away with a win.
“Unfortunately (Northlake Christian) got the early goal, but to our team’s credit they never stopped fighting throughout the match.”