With more than 36 minutes played in Friday’s game between the Northshore and Mandeville boys soccer team, there was no score. Mandeville seemed to have the upper hand, however, as the Skippers had been peppering the Panthers’ net with attempts from the start.
Then in a 75-second span, momentum swung decisively in Northshore’s favor.
Luke Price scored in the 34th minute, and Hayden Walcott followed only seconds later with another goal. That flurry sparked the Panthers to an eventual 3-0 victory over host Mandeville in a Division I, District 4 game at Sidney Theriot Stadium.
The pair of late, first-half goals were a huge shift in the game featuring two Division I powers. Northshore (12-3-5, 2-0-1) is ranked No. 5 in the Louisiana High School Soccer Coaches Association Division I rankings. Mandeville (11-5-4, 2-1) is No. 8 on the same list.
“We were waiting to see how they played, and once we did, we went after them the entire game,” Price said. “We were expecting them to be in attack mode, so we sat back a little bit and then we pressed when we had our shots.”
The plan worked perfectly, said Northshore coach Ryan Lazaroe.
“One thing I think coaches neglect to teach is how to read momentum,” he said. “When the other team has momentum, you have to sit in and defend. When we had momentum, we had to be able to read that and take advantage. All credit to the players. They followed the gameplan to a 'T.' ”
Mandeville had several great looks at the goal in the first half. Devin Pathoumthong sent a penalty kick to the center of the Panthers’ box in the second minute, but Christian Peacock’s header went high of the bar. In the 22nd minute, Matthew Marion’s put-back missed high, and in the 29th minute, John Niklas crammed a shot through a host of Northshore defenders that was stopped.
The Skippers outshot Northshore 7-1 in the first 33 minutes of the half, but the Panthers made their next two shots count. Price knocked a ball past the drawn-out Mandeville goalkeeper in the 34th minute for a 1-0 lead. Only seconds later, Walcott caught Mandeville’s defense on its heels and sneaked a shot into the lower right corner for a two-goal advantage.
Northshore tacked on an insurance goal in the 53rd minute when Fernando Trujillo broke up the right side and edged a shot into the bottom right corner.
Northshore 3, Mandeville 0: The Panthers’ Lizzie Doll scored three first-half goals to put an early stranglehold on a key Division I, District 4 game Friday against the Skippers.
Doll, a senior forward, got Northshore (12-4-4, 1-1-1) on the board in the ninth minute when she headed a throw-in to the bottom right corner for a 1-0 lead. She scored again in the 14th minute from close range, and registered a hat trick in the 19th minute when she netted another header following a throw-in by Jordan Grigsby.
The quick start forced Mandeville (15-7, 1-2) into an aggressive offensive attack, but their shots weren’t falling. Northshore goalkeeper Grace Murders saved a couple of attempts, and balls by Mandeville’s Lauren Fayard in the 34th minute and Aubrey Olin in the 37th minute sailed wide.
The teams each had four shots on goal in the first half and five in the game.
The Skippers played without four of their five seniors Friday because of a rash of injuries, and at least one other key player was out because of illness. Mandeville came into the game tied for No. 6 in the Louisiana Soccer Coaches Association rankings with Fontainebleau, which beat the Skippers earlier in the week. Northshore is ranked No. 9 in the current LSCA Division I poll.