After upsetting eighth-seeded Captain Shreve in the opening round of the Division I boys soccer playoffs, Fontainebleau set its sights on a win against ninth-seeded Ruston in the regional round.
Mission accomplished, but it took some extra time — plenty of it, actually.
Fontainebleau, the 25th-ranked team in the Division I bracket, was the lowest-ranked team remaining in postseason play.
But the Bulldogs, who fought through a tough schedule in Division I, District 4, were strong enough to beat the visiting Bearcats on penalty kicks Thursday night at the Dawg Pound in Mandeville.
The game was scoreless after regulation and overtime.
Eric Schindler knocked the winning kick into goal. Goalkeeper John Scholvin blocked a shot by Ruston’s Robert Thompson to seal the win for Fontainebleau and send the Bulldogs to the quarterfinals.
“I love the pressure,” Scholvin said after he was mobbed by adoring Fontainebleau teammates. “Everyone was cheering me on in the crowd. And to do it with these guys, my team, it means everything.”
Next up is fellow District 4 opponent St. Paul’s — the state’s top-ranked team and one of the best teams in the nation, according to numerous prep polls. The Wolves beat Fontainebleau 7-0 in district play.
“I’m ready for some revenge,” Scholvin said.
In the 17th minute, Fontainebleau’s Sean Speiss, the team’s leading scorer, had a great look on goal when he drove up the left sideline and entered the Ruston box. His shot to the near post was stopped, however, and the game remained scoreless.
Ruston (20-4-5) fired two shots toward goal in the next 10 minutes, but neither found their mark.
At halftime, the home team held a 4-3 shot advantage over Ruston.
The second half started much like the first, with both teams vying for possession, but neither did much with the ball when they had it.
The best scoring chance in the first minutes came when Connor Kuhn bolted up the left side and rolled a shot to the Ruston goal in the 45th minute. The ball was cleared, though, and the squads resumed play with a clear scoreboard.
In the 73rd minute, James Bridges laced a ball to the Ruston goal from about 30 yards away, but the shot was stopped, as well.
That began a lengthy period of both teams trying to get anything going on offense — all for naught.
Fontainebleau (10-7-1) outshot Ruston 9-5 in regulation. The teams played through one scoreless 10-minute overtime, and with five minutes left in the second overtime period, Sam Camarda fired a shot to the Ruston goal that sailed high, setting up extra play.
Fontainebleau took four shots in the first 20 minutes of overtime, before the game moved to five-minute periods. Both went scoreless until the Bulldogs found their aim in PK time.
“It seemed like we had the ball in front of their net the whole time, but nothing was going in,” said Fontainebleau coach Jonathan King. “But it was a great match.
“The team just finds ways to win.”