Goals were in abundance during Tuesday’s Division II state quarterfinal soccer match like beads and doubloons at a Mardi Gras parade.
Both No. 1 Holy Cross and No. 9 Woodlawn were locked in a back-and-forth encounter with three lead changes and three ties, before the visiting Tigers pulled away to revel in a 6-3 victory at Woodlawn.
“From a spectator’s view point, I’m sure it was a great game to watch,” Woodlawn coach Andrew Barnes. “Just not for Woodlawn at the very end.”
Holy Cross (18-3-2) advanced to the semifinals for the second time in three years and hosts No. 4 Ruston later this week at Pan American Stadium.
“Credit to them. They came out and gave us all they could,” Holy Cross coach Matt Millet said of the Panthers. “That first half (2-2 at halftime) was as level as we’ve played all year.”
Woodlawn (14-4-1) snapped the halftime deadlock in the 52nd minute when Cody Stevenson produced his second goal of the match, taking a rebound in the box courtesy and scoring into the right corner for a 3-2 advantage.
Holy Cross didn’t allow Woodlawn to enjoy its final lead for long.
The Tigers, playing short on a corner kick, were the beneficiaries of a handling call against the Panthers in the box, leading to Ethan Jones’ penalty kick — his second goal of the game — to make it 3-all in the 59th minute.
“By the time my guy got there, he was out of position with his hands up,” Barnes said. “That was a critical point in the game to give them that PK and gave them some momentum.”
Holy Cross, which had 18 of its 28 shots on goal, reeled off three unanswered goals over a 14-minute span to hand Woodlawn its first defeat in its past 10 matches.
Holy Cross was successful on a counter started by Ethan Garvey and finished by Sebastian Aguilar, who got inside a defender to score the go-ahead goal in the 59th minute.
With Woodlawn moving defender J-Myni George into an attacking position, Holy Cross added goals in the 63rd and 73rd minutes from Chad Cadiere on a header in the box and Jones depositing a loose ball after a counter.
“I think we could have scored three more goals in the first half,” Millet said. “They started bouncing in the second half and we’ll take them however they come.”
The game was twice tied in the first half.
Woodlawn’s Jacob Barnes buried a penalty kick in the 20th minute after a header from Garvey opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Stevenson’s first goal — a laser from the top of 18 — provided a 2-1 lead in the 23rd minute when the Tigers tied it nine minutes later on Josue Fuentes’ goal on a cross from Aguilar.
“Hat’s off to Holy Cross,” coach Barnes said. “They came out and played a great game. They came in as the No. 1 seed and we battled them. We were in the game for a long time, but just couldn’t stay with them.”
Holy Cross 6, Woodlawn 3
Goals — HOLY CROSS: Ethan Jones 2; Josue Fuentes, Ethan Garvey, Sebastian Aguilar, Chad Cadiere. WOODLAWN: Cody Stevenson 2, Jacob Barnes
Goalkeepers — WOODLAWN: Jakarie Davis (16 saves); HOLY CROSS: Thomas Dugal (3 saves)
Records — Holy Cross 18-3-2, Woodlawn 14-4-1