Rebels top Comets to earn district crown

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2012



RESERVE — When Stephen Millet took over the girls soccer program at Riverside in 2008, he was essentially tasked with building from the ground up — the Lady Rebels had never had a winning season, nor won district. In fact, Riverside had never even notched a district win.

Things have changed.

The Rebels clinched the District 9-III championship outright over archrival St. Charles last Saturday at Riverside, 5-0, the latest milestone in a season of them for what has clearly turned into the best soccer team in the school’s history.

“We finally did it,” said Rebels’ senior Shelby Deslatte, who has been a part of the program since her eighth grade year. “St Charles used to beat us 10-0 every time out. To win 5-0 … all the things between our teams, the rivalry … it just feels good. It was perfect.”

Said Riverside coach Stephen Millet, “I’m so proud of the girls. To watch those girls grow from the seventh, eighth grade on to this point, it’s a wonderful thing to experience as a coach … It’s great for Riverside, the fans, and the players that came before as well.”

Jordan Duhon scored twice for Riverside (13-8-2). Deslatte, Kaitlyn Masters and Mary Gurley each scored to guide the Rebels.

Millet said he thought the fan support at Riverside gave an extra push to his players.

“I thought that was a huge lift for the girls,” said Millet.

“I’ve played in two state semifinals, two state quarterfinals, and I’ve only seen a couple enviornment’s better thab that. The fans were awesome.”

Deslatte said that the biggest difference this season was the maturity of the Rebels across the board.

“This year, we’ve got a lot of players at the same level, not just one or two players to lean on,” said Deslatte. “Our team is very well-rounded, now.”

With sole possession of the district title wrapped up, Riverside attempted to close out an undefeated District campaign on Tuesday at St. Martin’s. But the Saints played the role of spoiler, holding Riverside off for a 1-0 victory at home.

Haley Holcomb broke a scoreless tie with a goal 15 minutes into the second half.

Riverside, meanwhile, had numerous chances to tie, but it just seemed to not be their day. In the 17th minute, RA had a shot to answer immediately when Deslatte crossed it to Taylor Terrio in close range, but Terrio’s shot went just wide of the goal. Then Deslatte had a chance in the 27th minute as she broke open with the ball and slipped it past St. Martin’s goalkeeper Caroline Bossier, who came out to contest. But the shot drifted slowly to the left, barely outside of the goal.

Deslatte called it a wakeup call before the playoffs.

“It shows us that we can’t relax. We thought we had it today and we didn’t push in the first half like we should have.”