Hornets eliminate Comets, 2-1
Published 12:00 am Friday, February 8, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
With 11 minutes remaining in St. Charles’ regional round match with Catholic Pointe Coupee, the Lady Comets were riding higher than ever.
Fresh off of the first playoff win in school history last Saturday, St. Charles looked to be on its way to the second, holding on to a 1-0 lead.
Then, seemingly in an instant, it was over.
The Hornets scored twice in the final stages of the game, including the go-ahead goal with less than two minutes left to advance to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 win at St. Charles.
“We have a senior-laden team, and they knew that this was their last hurrah,” said Hornets Coach Peter Goodman. “This team’s done this all year long. They’ll never let it slip away without a fight.”
Said Comets’ Coach Don Peyton: “Two mistakes killed us. It became a possession game between two good teams. But you can’t get by mental mistakes.”
Catholic PC (16-7-2), the top seed from District 4-III, will host Catholic-New Iberia in the next round. Catholic-NI defeated Menard in the regional to advance.
The Hornets had the early advantage in the game’s opening 10 minutes, controlling the ball in St. Charles (7-13) territory.
But momentum quickly swung when the Comets’ Reyna Lubin came up big, scoring on a long shot to give her team a 1-0 lead.
That lead held up for most of the day, while St. Charles seemed to be getting stronger as the game went on.
More and more, the Comets were keeping the ball in Hornet territory.
But Catholic used its depth to its advantage, running multiple subs in to keep fresh legs on the field.
That seemed to pay off in the closing stages. The Hornets’ Brittany Niland tied the game on a long, high shot that just escaped the fingertips of leaping Comet goalkeeper Kristen Carrier in the match’s 69th minute.
Then, in the match’s 78th minute, Alison O’Neal finished the Catholic comeback on a sliding kick from point blank range.
“She’s probably our hardest worker out there,” said Goodman of O’Neal. “She never quits on a play.”
For Peyton and the Comets, it was a bitter end to a season that saw the team advance further than it ever had, one that shows the program to be on an upswing.
“Last year, we won district, and that was a stepping stone. This year, we didn’t win district, but we won a playoff game,” said Peyton. “Next year, we’ll be looking to win district, and win more than one in the playoffs. We’re going to have a veteran team coming back.”