MANDEVILLE — Practice made perfect for Mandeville’s Mia Dubroc, who drilled two long direct kicks to help the Skippers take thei next playoff step.
Dubroc fired a 35-yard direct kick — awarded after a foul — in the 25th minute and a 24-yarder in the 57th minute to lead No. 4 Mandeville to a 3-1 Division I quarterfinal playoff victory over No. 5 St. Joseph’s Academy (19-7-3) on Monday.
Mandeville (27-5-1) was playing in the quarterfinals for the seventh straight year with one trip to the semifinals in 2012. St. Scholastica knocked the Skippers out in the quarters the past two years on the way to the 2014 title and 2013 runner-up finish.
“I’ve been practicing those DKs all season, and sure enough, they went to the back of the net,” said Dubroc, who has a team-high 26 goals on the season. “It was an awesome feeling. Both balls were high and went over the keeper’s head.
“Now that we’re in the semifinals, we’re excited to see what happens. Hopefully we’ll win a state championship. We really played with tenacity today.”
SJA took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute on sophomore Audrey Viso’s 18-yard shot from the left side. SJA’s Megan Johnson had a deep run two minutes later, and Mandeville keeper Jordyn Pellegrin blocked one shot. Kimberly Boudreaux kicked away the rebound shot.
“It was good to get the first goal early, and I thought we were going to get another one not long after,” SJA coach Stephanie Broussard said. “Their keeper made a great save on a one-on-one play. My girls played hard. We just couldn’t capitalize on another scoring opportunity.”
Dubroc tied the match at 1-1 in the 25th minute with her 35-yard direct kick. She fell hard and injured her tailbone late in the first half but returned for the second half.
SJA’s Viso took a left-footed shot in the 48th minute that bounced off the corner post. Mandeville’s Lauren Fayard followed a shot and scored from 8 yards out in the 55th minute to put the Skippers up 2-1. It was Fayard’s 23rd goal of the season.
Fayard was fouled on her next run to set up Dubroc’s 24-yard penalty kick to put Mandeville up 3-1.
SJA had corner kick plays in the 64th and 68th minute. Johnson was able to get her head on the first try but Mandeville’s Pellegrin (seven saves) was there.
Both teams came into the contest having shut out two playoff foes. SJA advanced to the semifinals last season.
“We got down early but we responded to adversity,” Mandeville coach Sean Esker said. “That says a lot about the character of the girls on the field. They were mentally and physically tough. We have some quality players all over the field.”
SJA had eight shots on goal to seven for Mandeville. SJA keeper Ainsley Sonnier had four saves.
SJA sophomore defender Lauryn Honore kicked away a close shot on a corner kick play in the second half.
Mandeville will face No. 1 Mt. Carmel, a 1-0 winner over No. 8 C.E. Byrd in extra time, in the semifinals.