ESJ soccer captures playoff spot with second win over Destrehan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Sports Editor

RESERVE — East St. John soccer captured second place in district five Monday night, securing a playoff spot for a game this weekend, with a 2-1 win over Destrehan to complete a sweep of their district 5A rival.

ESJ entered the game with a 5-2 record in league play, fresh off of a 2-0 win against West Jefferson in their last game where Tyler Hazett scored twice.

The home team got off to a quick start with an early score that came on an inbound pass from Terrance Crushfield that somehow found it’s way into the back of the net.

&#8220It was a great job on his part,” said ESJ coach Paul Dupuy. &#8220I’m not sure, but I think he just inbounded it perfect and nobody actually touched it. It was just really perfectly placed.”

East St. John kept right on attacking after taking the lead, pulling ahead by two when Michael Watson netted the game winner on a header that edged the ball just passed the goal line.

Destrehan fought on, getting several opportunities to score. But keeper Kris Hoffpauir kept DHS scoreless through the first half. Destrehan’s Louis Valladaras had the best chance when he broke free with the ball about five minutes before halftime, but lost the handle on the ball once the ESJ defense collapsed at the box.

In the second half, Robbie Anderson of Destrehan scored to put his team within reach of at least a tie to keep his team alive. And while they dominated the second half in possessions and field postition, Destrehan just couldn’t get off clean shots once they had penetrated the defense, but they were held at bay by Hoffpauir.

Once the final whistle blew, the home team celebrated by emptying the water cooler on coach Dupuy and assistant coach Haniford in the forty degree weather.

&#8220These kids have heart,” Haniford said. &#8220They’ve been working toward this for quite a while now and they’ve earned it. Hopefully, they’ve earned a home game in the playoffs too.”