LAFAYETTE — The Acadiana Wreckin’ Rams enter the holiday break on a bit of a hot streak.
Acadiana won all three of its contests against state teams at the two-day Louisiana Showcase of Soccer tournament over the weekend in Lake Charles. Acadiana kept that momentum rolling on Monday evening with a 2-0 victory over Catholic High of Baton Rouge, in a game moved to Clark Field because of severe weather earlier in the day.
“It gives us some momentum moving forward,” Acadiana coach Jan Richard said. “Now we get some time over the break to heal up and keep working on improving our defense.”
The scoreless first half was bogged down by a handful of offside penalties and a lack of clean shots by either team. Catholic goalie Will Whitehead shined in the opening 40 minutes with four saves, including a diving one-handed save near post on a shot by Acadiana’s Jacob Judice.
“He’s a good senior leader for us,” Catholic coach Josh McReynolds said. “He was a big reason why we were able to stay in this game.”
Catholic (5-5-1) had an opportunity to take an early lead as Eli Weathers got past three Acadiana defenders for a shot in front of the goal. Weathers, though, stumbled slightly, and his ensuing kick sailed high over the net.
The Rams didn’t take long to find the back of the net early in the second.
Acadiana’s Tannor Tauzin had a small crease to power a kick past Whitehead on the left side, but Catholic’s goalie made the stop. Tauzin’s teammate, Jamison Angelle, was there to clean it up as he pushed the ball through before Whitehead could recover to defend.
“I think truthfully, defensively, we weren’t doing a good job,” Richard said. “We weren’t pressuring well. Once we started to stretch them, we had some scoring opportunities.”
Acadiana (12-2-3) sealed the victory in the 63rd minute as Bailey Deroussel slashed his way around the left side of the goal and kicked the ball toward the right side of the net. Whitehead was out of position to defend, but Brenner Keaton appeared to be in the ideal spot to thwart the score. Keaton, though, was unable to get turned around, and the ball rolled through his legs for the score.
The loss was the third straight for Catholic, which returns to action with a home game against Fontainebleau on Dec. 30.
“I thought we played so well in the first half,” McReynolds said. “We had great intensity, and tactically, we gave them trouble. But in the second half, we didn’t do a good job of tracking their runners. I told the guys afterward that if we come out with the same intensity in the first half, then we are going to eventually see the results.”
Acadiana’s Richard is giving his team the rest of the holiday week off before gearing up for the Buffalo Wild Wings North vs. South Challenge at Moore Park in Carencro next week.
“I am pleased with where we are,” Richard said. “We have lost two games to the same opponent, and we are a young team that keeps on improving.”