Having already seen Dutchtown in November, Mandeville boys soccer coach Shane Hughes knew what to expect heading into the second round of the Division I playoffs.
That knowledge was enough to propel the fourth-seeded Skippers to a 3-0 win on the road and a spot in the quarterfinals.
“We knew their strong point and their weak points,” Hughes said of Dutchtown. “They gave us a few scares. It was tough to play on the road, but we did what we had to do and it was a good win.”
Sophomore forward Devin Pathoumthong led the way for Mandeville with two goals sandwiched around one from senior Jack Babineaux.
“As soon as we calmed down, we got in the flow of our game and it helped us out a lot,” Babineaux said. “They had a good supporting crowd out here, and it kind of overwhelmed us a little bit.”
Pathoumthong tallied his first goal during stoppage time of the first half when he held his position on a long throw-in from Parker Pastorelli and headed it past Dutchtown goalkeeper Zachary Briggs.
He then sealed the win in the 69th minute by dribbling to the corner of the box and blasting a low right-footed shot into the opposite corner of the goal.
“They were just trying to hold onto the ball until halftime,” Pastorelli said of his first goal, “I was thinking that I couldn’t let them do that. I wanted to score right before half to put their heads down and win the game.”
Not only did the loss end 20th-seed Dutchtown’s season, but it also concluded the career of Griffins coach Larry Chambless.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my guys,” said Chambless, who has been at Dutchtown since the school started in 2002. “It’s been a hell of a run.”
Fighting for their coach, the Griffins were able to stave off an early Mandeville onslaught and then built some momentum of their own.
The first real chance came in the 19th minute when DHS midfielder Landon Gauthreaux received the ball at the top of the box after some Mandeville miscommunication, but his shot sailed high.
Five minutes later, Dutchtown got its first chance on goal when a rebound off of a free kick fell to Matt Marion. The freshman blasted a right-footed shot, but MHS goalkeeper Spencer Hollander showed quick reflexes in corralling the ball above his head.
“We did what we needed to do in that first half,” Chambless said. “We were getting into the attacking third but didn’t get the breakthrough down the stretch.”
The Griffins’ missed chances bit them in the final minutes of the first half with Pathoumthong taking full advantage of the throw-in on the other end.
“Dutchtown gave us everything that we could handle,” Hughes said. “Devin’s goal was huge right there because it kind of helped settle things down going into halftime.”
Holding onto the 1-0 lead into the 63rd minute, Pastorelli notched his second assist of the night when he dribbled to the corner flag on the right side and found some space to get off a cross towards goal. With three Dutchtown defenders in the box, Babineaux beat them all to the ball and tapped it past Briggs to make it 2-0.
“I knew that I needed to get to the ball first,” Babineaux said. “I wanted to extend the lead.”