Third-seeded Ben Franklin didn’t take long to score Friday in its Division II bidistrict girls soccer playoffs match against No. 30 Belle Chasse.
The host Falcons defeated the Cardinals 6-1 and will play the winner between Morgan City and North DeSoto in the regional round.
For Ben Franklin coach Jose Ferrand, Friday’s match was an opportunity to give the reserves some postseason experience.
“That’s the key, giving them experience for the playoffs,” Ferrand said. “We have a lot of girls on this team and every single one of them played. It’s good to get them a little bit of experience in the playoffs.”
Before the halfway point of the half, LSU signee Alex Thomas had three of the team’s four goals.
It didn’t take long for the Falcons (19-0-2) to score as Thomas hit a shot through the hands of Belle Chasse goalkeeper Bailey Duplessis just 1:17 into the first half.
“We’ve been doing this for three years now,” Thomas said. “We kind of know how to mentally prepare ourselves; it’s easy. We’ve been playing club. You know what to do when the time comes. You know that you can never let your head get too big. You got to stay focused. I think we do a pretty good job of doing that. We never get cocky or anything. We always know that we can improve, just like everyone around us needs to improve, too.”
Thomas then kicked in a shot to the right at the 9-minute mark and after a goal by Eleanor Pratt, the Falcons had a 3-0 lead. Thomas then scored her team’s fourth goal at the 15-minute mark.
And just like the first half, Ben Franklin started by scoring with Yume Jensen’s goal at the 41-minute mark giving the Falcons a 5-0 lead.
Jensen then dribbled straight down and kicked in a shot to the left for a 6-0 lead at the 48-minute mark.
Belle Chasse (9-3) prevented a shutout when Orielle Edwards dribbled straight down the field and scored at the 66th-minute mark to cut the lead to 6-1. Edwards then attempted the same feat again. But the ball missed the goal, and went wide left.
“We have met a lot of obstacles this year,” first-year Belle Chasse coach Valerie Jones said. “It’s a growing sport at our school. We don’t have a lot of club players.”
Jones said she was proud that her team kept its intensity high throughout.
“We just ask them to always keep the positivity up,” she said. “You’re not always going to play a team where you’re the dominant team. You’re going to have to rise to whatever occasion you’re given.”