MANDEVILLE — Mandeville managed to shut down Baton Rouge High’s speedy forwards and get the goals it needed from senior Delaney Sheehan and freshman Mia Dubroc to defeat the Bulldogs 2-0 in a Division I girls soccer playoff game Wednesday night at the Mandeville High Stadium.
The win in the regional round will send the eighth-seeded Skippers (23-4-3) against top-seeded St. Scholastica, a 3-0 winner over Dutchtown in the quarterfinals round. Baton Rouge High finished its season 21-4-3.
“We had spurts where we were able to dominate the ball and work in behind them, but as a whole I thought we played real shaky,” BRHS coach Sheila Achee said. “We had to make some adjustments on defense we’re not used to to account for Delaney. She’s a great player.”
Sheehan, who is slated to play collegiately at Furman, scored her goal on a routine play off a throw-in from the left sideline. She controlled a pass, found herself open in front of the left post, and curled the shot past goalkeeper Rachel Bourgeois inside the far post.
She missed two earlier attempts, angling one shot outside the left post and knocking a header over the goal.
“They’re a strong defensive team. We wanted to make them play from behind, maybe chase the game a little bit,” Mandeville coach Sean Esker said. “Scoring the goal in the first half and getting that goal early in the second half made things better for us. We had the goals, and we didn’t have to chase, so we could stay home and not have to put bodies forward.”
The Skippers second half goal came in the 46th minute after another throw in. Dubroc controlled the ball at the top of the box and fired a low shot into the center of the net.
Senior defender Emily Segura said nerves played a role early.
“We came in a little bit frazzled, a little bit nervous, and it definitely showed,” Segura said. “They had good composure on the ball. We got it together toward the end of the first half, but it wasn’t enough, and we were unlucky in front of the goal.”
The Bulldogs stayed on the offensive for much of the first half and made Mandeville keeper Carly Allison handle the ball, but none of their shots were high quality and Allison handled them all cleanly.
In the 32nd minute BRHS forwards Natalie Presedo and Kennedy Smith converged on a promising attack but could not get a shot off.
“Of course we were worried about them (Presedo and Smith),” Esker said, “but we didn’t man mark them. With two of them, we tried to keep four in the back and we could slide over and help.
“It helped that the rain stayed away and the footing stayed solid.”
In the second half, Presedo had a shot from nearly the same spot as Sheehan’s goal, but Allison made the save. In the 55th minute, Madeline Bourgeois had a quality shot for the Bulldogs, but it clanged off the crossbar.
The game matched two of Louisiana’s winningest coaches. Achee notched her 400th victory, all at Baton Rouge High, in a playoff win over Parkway last week. The win was Eskers’s 406th at Mt. Carmel and Mandeville.
“We’ve been at this so long, I consider Sheila a good friend,” Esker said. “It certainly means something to get a win against a team you know will be well coached and well prepared.”