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Defense Leading Destrehan’S Journey To The Top

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / January 23, 1998

DESTREHAN –

Destrehan 7,

West Jefferson 0.

Destrehan 1,

Hahnville 0.

Destrehan 2,

Central Lafourche 0.

Those were the scores for the Destrehan Lady Cats soccer team’s firstthree district games. Three games, three shutouts. Not bad for anyprogram, much less one in only its second year of existence.

The shutout streak came to an end Wednesday against Andrew Jackson in anon-district game, but the Lady Cats still came away with a 6-2 victory,improving their season record to 6-3.That record does not come against a bunch of cupcakes either. Besides itsdifficult district schedule, Destrehan has played the likes of Mount Carmeland Country Day. Lady Cats coach Jennifer Acosta said she scheduled ahigher level of competition because it helps the team find out what theyneed to work on faster.

Senior Sarah Peirce, the team’s co-captain, said a big difference betweenthis year’s squad and the 1997 edition is that all of the positions havebeen filled by players with experience at those positions. Tina Johnson,also a co-captain, said that has also made the bench stronger.

Peirce said the girls have come together and their confidence is higher.”We really work together and we know we play better as a team,” Peircesaid.

Acosta concurred, saying that the girls are playing with a lot ofconfidence and do a lot of self-motivation before the game.

“They work together really well,” Acosta said.

Peirce said that the improved play of the defense has led to the teamplaying with more intensity. She said one thing that has really helped thedefense is the play of freshman Natalie Robert at sweeper.

Goaltender Danielle Sentilles agreed, saying that Robert has been a greathelp to her. Sentilles said that on throw ins and sidekicks, Robert willusually take one side of the net and she will take the other.

“We work together as one,” Sentilles said.Sentilles herself as been a big factor in the emergence of the defense. Inher second year in the net, Sentilles said she has made great strides. Shesaid Hahnville’s goalie, a good friend of hers, has commented on how muchshe has improved over the past year.Sentilles said the shutout streak helped motivate her and she wasdetermined to keep it alive. Sentilles had an ample number of threats tothe streak but was able to stonewall the opposition.

“It was awesome,” Sentilles said. “I was ready for more.”

Acosta said while the defense has definitely been the strong point, aidedmore still by the play of freshman Cynthia Rodriguez at fullback. Andwhile the offense has struggled at times, the team is working hard to takemore advantage of the number of shots it is getting a game.

Peirce said another thing that has contributed to the team’s success is theinflux of new players to go along with the senior leadership.

“We have a lot of leadership on the team,” Peirce said. “We also have morespeed up front now and the players have moved to where they are reallystrong.”

Acosta said a great benefit is that the players coming into the programnow have played soccer year-round. That experience, coupled with theyouth, will also pay dividends down the road.

“We have a lot of young girls with experience and that will help carry usfor the next three to four years,” Acosta said. “With the feeder programsand more and more girls playing year-round, we will get better andbetter.”

The Lady Cats have four district games left after last night’s encounterwith Central Lafourche. The Lady Cats will play four of those games on theroad as they strive for the state playoffs, with their lone game at thefriendly confines of home coming Thursday against Vandebilt Catholic.

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