The offside trap stymied Grace King.
Each time the Fighting Irish countered — penetrating Central Lafourche’s backline — they were flagged for offsides, returning possession to the Trojans.
They accumulated seven through the first 18 minutes of the match.
“It was more of the forwards getting anxious, trying to make a play,” Grace King coach Raul Hernandez said after the Fighting Irish’s 6-1 win.
“It’s all a matter of patience and discipline.”
Then, the Fighting Irish adjusted. And found a loophole.
“I told them to be more patient, run diagonal instead of straight and make extra combinations to counteract that,” Hernandez said.
The strategy worked.
Kenroy Rodrigues raced down a through ball on the right wing, tucking a shot under the approaching keeper to provide Grace King the first of six goals on the night as the No. 14 Fighting Irish trounced No. 19 seed Central Lafourche in the LHSAA Division I first-round playoffs at Joseph Yenni Stadium on Saturday night.
Grace King (20-5-2) encounters No. 3 Jesuit in the regional round Wednesday.
It’s a rematch, the Blue Jays downing Grace King 3-0 in the regular season.
“I was nervous, but I came with my mind ready,” said Rodrigues, who capped the match with a goal, finishing with a hat trick. “I trusted the gameplan and what we practiced leading up to the game and I just thank God I was able to provide goals for my team.”
Initially, the Trojans (17-3-3) withstood the attack. Devin Foret answered Rodrigue’s score with a header that equalized the match at 1-1, but when Ryan Breauz injured his ankle, Central Lafourche collapsed.
“Once that happened, we made our changes and after halftime it had to stay like that — it disoriented everybody,” Central Lafourche coach Simon Badeaux said.
“He’s aggressive and wins so many balls. He does so much in the middle of the field. It totally threw us off our game and allowed them to really take advantage and add to their total of goals on the night.”
Adonis Orellana, Marcelo Carias and Jose Hernandez all chipped in goals, padding Grace King’s lead.
“I was very happy with the way they performed out there tonight,” Raul Hernandez said. “I though they were going to be very nervous, but they shed that after the the game started and came out strong. Once they settled down, and picked their spots out there, we were able to take capitalize and score some goals to get the victory.”