GEISMAR — Carrigan Hookfin watched the ball rebound to her after Riley Hicock’s shot bounced off a defender. Then, in the 93rd minute, Hookfin did what nobody else could in Dutchtown’s 1-0 win over St. Amant on Wednesday.
Hookfin’s chip shot sailed over the head of goalkeeper Caylee Sheets, and ricocheted off the crossbar and in. Dutchtown midfielder Tristen Gulczynski knew that those final minutes would prove to be the most important.
“The last five minutes is when the best team comes out,” Gulczynski said. “We’re both really good teams. In the last five minutes, it’s all about who wants it more. We wanted it more.
"We just kept pounding and pounding and pounding. They were at our throats for a while, but we turned it around and came back. I’m happy about that.”
An uneventful first half thanks in no small part to the clean-sheet effort of Dutchtown’s Alexi Odland and the near-perfect effort from Sheers, the dueling attacks made do with their best efforts. A near miss off the right foot of Londyn Naden, who aimed a shot at the top right corner but watched it clang off the crossbar in the 11th minute, brought Dutchtown supporters to their feet.
The Lady Gators had even more causes to celebrate, at least for a moment. Right winger Sadie Bourgeois edged past Dutchtown’s Rylie Gueho in the 37th minute for a shot along the right flank that just missed the mark. Striker Nya Bridgewater had a look swallowed up by Odland toward the end of the half, ending the last deep attack the Gators had in the first half.
Dutchtown’s Riley Hicock nearly broke the silence in the 51st minute with a shot at the left goal post, but couldn’t curl the shot enough to find its way to the back of the net. A cross from Bourgeois to Alink Kravtsov in the 75th minute put the ball 15 feet in front of Odland, but Kravtsov’s chip shot veered wide right, spoiling any would-be celebrations for the freshman.
For St. Amant coach Joleigh Hartmann, there was no reason for the Gators to hang their heads. They were playing the No. 8 team in the LHSAA’s Division I power rankings, after all.
“We just told them to keep their heads up, that they played their hearts out and we saw it,” Hartmann said. “If you had seen the last four years of the St. Amant-Dutchtown rivalry, it’s come down to the last few minutes.
"I give all credit to Dutchtown, they came out here and wanted this game a little bit more than us at the end. I’m very proud of my varsity girls and the way we came out and persevered throughout the game.”