On a cold night at Joe Yenni Stadium, the Grace King Fighting Irish didn’t wait long to heat up the scoreboard.
Carlos Borjas’ goal in the third minute proved to be the difference as No. 10 seed Grace King defeated No. 23 Fontainebleau 4-0 Friday night in the opening round of the Division I boys soccer playoffs.
With the win, the Fighting Irish (18-5-2) advance to the regional round to take on No. 7 Denham Springs.
Fontainebleau finishes the season 9-8-4. The Fighting Irish are seeking a second trip to the Division I state championship game after losing to St. Paul’s in 2014.
The third-place finisher in a district that features the top two seeds in the Division I bracket — St. Paul’s and Mandeville — Fontainebleau’s best chance to score came in the first half in the 16th minute. After a hand ball on Grace King, senior captain Seth Homes had a free kick, but it was deflected away by a Fighting Irish defender.
Later in the half, Wilmer Toro extended the Grace King lead to 2-0 in the 31st minute. After a corner kick, Toro grabbed possession of the ball and his shot from 5 yards out found the back of the net.
Grace King didn’t wait long to make it 3-0. Twenty-eight seconds into the second half, Carlos Lopez converted a pass for a header.
Joan Lanza added another goal for Grace King in the 47th minute, extending the lead to 4-0.
Peppering the Fontainebleau defense with 16 shots on goal, Grace King coach Raul Hernandez was pleased with his team’s overall offensive performance.
“The difference in the game for us tonight was the first half,” Hernandez said. “We came out on fire offensively early in this game and were able to take advantage of some opportunities early in the match to grab the lead. We were able to get a couple of early goals, and that really proved to be the difference. Fontainebleau is a good team, and we are just happy that we were able to come away with the win here and advance into the next round.”
The Fighting Irish’s speed advantage proved to be one of the biggest keys to the win Hernandez said.
“We are a quick team,” he said. “It is how we play soccer, and we like to use our overall team speed to help us win games. Tonight it did that. One down, four to go.”