Lakeshore forward Jacob Bernard wanted to make his final performance at Titan Coliseum a memorable one.
The senior scored a pair of goals in the first half as No. 3 Lakeshore defeated No. 7 Woodlawn of Baton Rouge 5-0 in a Division II boys soccer semifinal Saturday afternoon in Mandeville.
The win for the Titans (23-4-2) secures the school’s first-trip to the Division II state championship match Thursday night against the winner of the other semifinal match between top-seeded Holy Cross and No. 4 Beau Chene. The Lakeshore boys also join the Lakeshore girls, who punched their ticket to Lafayette on Friday night with an overtime win over Neville.
Bernard got things going in the 16th minute with a shot that got past Woodlawn goal keeper Jakarie Davis. Eight minutes later he broke through the Panther defense again, scoring in the 24th minute to make it 2-0 Titans.
“Give Woodlawn credit,” Bernard said. “We knew coming into this match that they were a quality opponent, and they had some solid ballplayers. We knew we had to come out and step on the throat from the get-go. Fortunately, we were able to exploit some weaknesses and come away with the victory.”
Not sitting on the two-goal advantage coming out of halftime, the Titans made it a 3-0 in the 44th minute, when junior Eli Mullins scored on a pass from Jake Leger.
“We wanted to jump on (Woodlawn) from the start,” Mullins said. “It was important to get off to such a good start and in the first 24 minutes we had a 2-0 advantage. Then, it was just about building on what we had established for ourselves.”
Two minutes later sophomore Matt Chevenert got in on the fun with a goal to push the lead to 4-0.
In the 54th minute, Ryan Jeanfreau scored a goal assisted by Mullins to make it 5-0.
“Honestly (making it to the state championship) doesn’t really feel that much different because our approach all season long has been to simply play the next game on the schedule,” Bernard said. “It just so happens the next game on the schedule is for a state championship.”
Finishing the season 17-6-1, the loss for the Panthers also marks the end of the 18-year coaching career of Woodlawn coach Andrew Barnes, who announced his retirement earlier in the season.