Acadiana torments Tigesr again

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 27, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / Febuary 27, 1999

LAFAYETTE – P.J. LeBlanc scored on a header late in the first half andAcadiana held off Hahnville in the second half to take a 1-0 victory in the Division I semifinals Wednesday night at Acadiana.

Acadiana (24-3-3), the two-time defending state champions, advanced to the finals today against Jesuit at Zephyr Field In Metairie. Jesuit defeatedByrd, 6-1, Wednesday night.

Hahnville finished the season at 27-4-2.

It was the third straight season the Rams, ranked second in the state and eighth nationally, have ended Hahnville’s season in the playoffs. Acadianaalso defeated Hahnville, 4-2, to open this season and have beaten the Tigers five times over the last three seasons.

Acadiana started quickly, getting a breakaway shortly after taking the opening possession. Nathanael Richard-son moved down the right sidelinesbut sent his kick over the net. Three minutes later, Hahnville goalie LukeLedet grabbed a free kick by Joshua Yammarino.

Hahnville had its first opportunity six minutes into the game as Tim Sirmon took a centering pass but had his shot sail high. Stevie Sirmon thentook a shot that was cleared out by LeBlanc. Yammarino was awardedanother free kick a few minutes later but his shot from the center of the field sailed over the net.

LeBlanc headed a pass to Justin Angelle in the box but Angelle’s shot sailed high. Angelle then tried a shot that was grabbed by Ledet.At the 25-minute mark, Jonathan Tregre took a pass from Travis Webre and charged into the zone. Tregre aimed a shot at the left corner of the netbut Acadiana goalie Matt Walker dove to his left to make the save.

Acadiana took possession with Ledet pushing aside a free kick by Joseph Miller. Ledet then made a diving stop of his own on a kick by John Miller.With seven minutes left in the half, Yammarino was awarded a free kick in front. LeBlanc took the kick on the left corner of the net and angled aheader past a diving Ledet into the right side, giving the Rams a 1-0 lead with 6:50 remaining.

Walker grabbed Joseph Griffin’s free kick on the Tigers’ ensuing possession. With three minutes left, Griffin charged in and sent a shot onthe run from the left side that sailed high.

Griffin was awarded a free kick a minute later and sent it toward the top of the goal. Walker jumped up and punched the shot over the net. JasonDavies took the ensuing corner kick and sent it in but had it grabbed by Walker.

Yammarino brought the Rams on the attack and took a shot from the right side that was deflected by Ledet and cleared by Blake Gervais. LeBlancthen headed a pass to Richardson whose shot was grabbed by Ledet just before halftime.

Walker grabbed shots by Webre and Chris Claudet early in the second half.

Yammarino passed ahead to Jeffrey Shelton but Claudet came out to knock the ball away.

Mark Griffin came in on goal a few minutes later with Walker coming out to make the grab. A free kick by Joseph Griffin then sailed high.Richardson cleared the ball to Angelle who sent a kick in. Ledet deflectedthe ball and then fell on it with 24:20 left.

Hahnville went on the offensive for most of the remaining time with Acadiana responding by putting six and seven defenders in the box. Daviesattempted a shot with 18 minutes left that sailed high.

Five minutes later, Brandon Kelly took a shot from in front that sailed just over the top of the net. Kelly then sent a pass in to Joseph Griffinwhose quick kick was grabbed by Walker. Mark Griffin then intercepted apass in the center of the field and tried a shot that sailed wide right.

With four minutes remaining, Stevie Sirmon tried a shot from way out that skipped by the left goal post. Joseph Griffin then grabbed aninterception and tried a shot from the middle of the field that sailed just high with 2:20 left.

In the final two minutes, Davies tried a corner kick that was cleared by Richardson. Walker then came out of the net to grab a shot in front ofClaudet rushing in. Mark Griffin then sent a kick in that Walker caught infront of Claudet. The Rams were then able to clear the ball into their zoneto run out the clock.

“We had many chances,” Hahnville coach Rafael de Vega said. “We weren’table to put the ball in the net. That is what it comes down to. Wedominated the second half but you don’t get points for domination and shots. But they can’t put their heads down. They gave everything they got.”The Tigers were making their first appearance in the semifinals and were coming off the District 8-I championship.

“The season was outstanding,” de Vega said. “I am proud of what weaccomplished and looking forward to doing it again next year.”

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