Comets upset Loyola, advance in playoffs
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
LAPLACE — The consensus feeling around the St. Charles boys soccer team, from players to coaches, was that the a relatively inexperienced Comets team was finally beginning to gel as the regular season wound down.
Today, that feeling seems like more of a premonition.
Patrick Juneau’s goal with 10 minutes left Friday night lifted the No. 22 seeded Comets to a 1-0 upset victory at No. 6 Loyola in a Division III bi-district playoff match.
The Comets (6-10-2) will host a regional round match tonight at 6 p.m. against No. 6 University, which defeated Houma Christian, 5-0, in the first round.
Juneau’s goal came from close range off of a header from Austin Douroux.
“I think it comes down to hard work, plain and simple,” said St. Charles coach Paul Shenton. “Their team is probably a little better than ours, to be honest. But we were extremely organized and tactically stout … I think it finally clicked in the minds of our players just how good they can be when they put this kind of work in, that they can be a team to be reckoned with.”
The goal was a continuation of a memorable school year for Juneau, who, as the football team’s placekicker, made a game-winning field goal in the state semifinals, then a kick for the eventual winning points in the state championship.
Friday, his goal netted St. Charles its first playoff victory since 2008.
Shenton praised the defense of Logan Jacob, who drew the assignment of covering Loyola’s midfielder.
“He’s someone who’s really able to control things for them, so we marked him with Logan. That made a big difference in terms of slowing them down,” said Shenton.
He also took note of the strong play from goalkeeper Mason Roussel, who he said came away with “at least” seven significant saves.
As far as tonight’s game goes, Shenton said that he knows his team goes in as the underdog, but that he and his players embrace the fact that this match will be at home. He expects a fun atmosphere.
“There should be a lot of spectators,” he said. “We’ll use them as a twelfth man. Hopefully we get the advantage and come away with a good result.”