Continuing their run towards a third consecutive Division I boys soccer state championship, top-seeded St. Paul’s defeated No. 17 Dutchtown 7-0 behind a pair of goals from its senior captain Thursday night at Hunter Stadium.
With the second-round win, the Wolves (24-1-3) advance to the quarterfinals and will host No. 8 New Iberia. Dutchtown ends its season at 12-5-2.
A back-and-forth first 15 minutes, Dutchtown got the first shot on goal.
St. Paul’s had five shots on goal in the first 15 minutes and broke through on the scoreboard in the 18th minute. Colin Ross converted a 12-yard free kick that found the left corner of the net after a hand ball was called on the Griffins.
Six minutes later, Ross again converted a penalty kick after a handball was called on Dutchtown. On a corner kick, the Griffins tried to stop a header that was headed for goal. Ross’ penalty kick again found the back of the net to make it 2-0.
“The goals in the first half I think really kick-started us,” Ross said. “We started off pretty slow in the first half. In the first 12 to 13 minutes of the game, everything really was not clicking. Once we found the back of the net with those first two goals, everything just seemed to pick up whether it was our passing, our just overall communication. It set us up to really take control of the game.
“We were coming off of a bye week, and we approached it carefully taking care of some injuries. We just wanted to get that nervous feeling out of us early on. We have a bunch of guys who haven’t been here before (in the playoffs). Early on in this game we wanted to shake off that feeling.”
Senior Nash Odenwald made it 3-0 in the 32nd minute. Taking in a pass from sophomore Mason Robicheaux, Odenwald’s shot got past the Dutchtown goalkeeper at point-blank range.
Emptying their bench in the second half, the Wolves still controlled the ball for a majority of the half, including a pair of shots off the top crossbar midway through the half.
“I told my team at halftime that the first 10-15 minutes of the first half that there was very little communication,” Wolves coach Sean Moser said. “We were not flying around the ball. We are a high-pressure team that likes to move the ball. After those first two goals, our level of play was raised significantly.
“What I worry about is as the level of competition raises, if we continue to start flat we may give up an early goal and then that changes everything.”
Christian Roberts scored the first goal of the second half for the Wolves in the 68th minute.
A flurry of goals in the final three minutes saw Justin Savoie score in the 76th and 78th minute, and Robicheaux found the back of the net in the 77th minute.