ESJ ends season
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
LAFAYETTE — East St. John’s soccer season came to an end in Lafayette on Friday night on both the boys and girls sides.
The Wildcat boys visited sixth-seeded St. Thomas More and fell 6-0, while the girls were toppled 11-1 at No. 1 Lafayette.
It caps a season in which both Wildcat squads made the state playoffs together for the first time since 2005.
“It was a very positive year,” said East St. John boys coach Paul Dupuy. “You can see soccer starting to take off in our parish … for us, it will help a lot of young guys in that they now know we have that expectation headed into next year.”
Dupuy said that St. Thomas More’s size made a big difference in shielding his speedy Wildcats away from the ball and maintaining possession.
“Even when we got to a ball, we weren’t necessarily able to take possession,” said Dupuy. “They’ve got great size and skill and they’re also great technically. They know where to be.”
The match was scoreless for 20 minutes before St. Thomas broke through after what Dupuy called a couple of defensive lapses.
“The guys kind of got frustrated after that. We were getting pounded but still holding them scoreless early,” said Dupuy. “And to let the first one in on something avoidable, it shifted the momentum.”
Dupuy noted St. Thomas was also very good with the ball in the air, scoring all but one of their goals on a corner kick.
Still, Dupuy was enthusiastic when discussing the future prospects of his Wildcats (10-13).
“This team has a lot of guys who understand the game,” said Dupuy. “We didn’t always gel tactically as we’d have liked, but our young guys showed enough to give us an idea that we could be pretty good going forward.”
Dupuy also praised the school administration, particularly athletic director Phillip Banko, for the support of the boys and girls program.
“Coach Banko and Mrs. Triche were at a lot of games,” said Dupuy.” Coach really took an active interest and has sought to make our sports program well-rounded in all areas, and I commend him for that.”