Avoiding the upset bug which hit cross-town rival Mandeville on Monday night, a dominating effort on both sides of the field by Fontainebleau helped the No. 8-seeded Bulldogs to a 2-0 win over No. 9 St. Amant in the second round of the Division I girls state soccer playoffs Wednesday night at The Dawg Pound.
With the win, the Bulldogs (19-2-2) advance to take on the top-seeded C.E. Byrd (27-1-1), which advanced to the quarterfinals after an 8-1 win over Pineville.
After peppering the St. Amant goal with six shots in the first 15 minutes, junior Maddi Cerise broke through for Fontainebleau in the 17th minute. After launching a shot on goal that drew out goalkeeper Mary Taylor Gautreau, Cerise knocked it into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs outshot St. Amant 9-2 and controlling the ball for a majority of the first 40 minutes.
“It was a great all-around effort by our squad tonight,” Fontainebleau coach Carly Hotard said. “Obviously we missed a lot of opportunities to make the score even bigger. I’m not trying to sound like I am unsatisfied, but I’m excited we still get another game in the playoffs to try and continue to get better. It is all about winning and moving on.
“St. Amant is a good team. They played us well. We did have the possession of the ball for a long time tonight, but the Gators are always a constant threat to score. I was happy with the outcome and despite having some things to still work on, I was happy how the girls played.”
Junior Bailey Tadlock made it 2-0 Bulldogs in the 54th minute. After taking a deep pass, the Bulldogs forward launched a left-footed shot from 30 yards that found the back of the net.
Not at 100 percent heading into the match, St. Amant (11-4-5) coach Joleigh Hartman was still proud of her team’s effort.
“We have some key players out due to injuries, and we just couldn’t ever really get things going in the game tonight against a good Fontainebleau team,” she said. “Saying all that, I think the players played great and worked very hard against a program and team (Fontainebleau) that just was the better team tonight.
Traveling to Shreveport later this week to take on the top-ranked team in Division I, Hotard said she is excited about the challenges presented in the quarterfinal match against Byrd.
“We lost last year in the state quarterfinals to St. Scholastica,” she said. “We welcome the challenge. I tell my team all the time that if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. You can’t just waltz into the state championship match. If we have to beat Byrd to get there, then we have to beat Byrd.”