ESJ girls score key wins

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RESERVE — After two consecutive victories, East St. John’s girls soccer team finds itself in a familiar spot.
The host Ladycats defeated Higgins 5-0 Monday night and traveled to defeat Ehret 3-0 on Friday in a pair of District 8-I matches critical to ESJ’s playoff chances.
Just a game behind Destrehan for second place in the district, ESJ (5-10, 5-2) faced with a must-win matchup at Destrehan Friday, a victory giving ESJ a chance to advance to its second consecutive postseason. A similar scenario occurred last season as well, with the Ladycats defeating DHS on penalty kicks after two overtimes, helping ESJ reach the playoffs.
Against Higgins, Nyanza Bell and Toni Monroe each scored two goals to lead ESJ. Diamond Edwards added another to round out the ESJ scoring.
ESJ led 1-0 at halftime.
“We missed about six goals that I thought we could have made in the first half. So I got on them to come out more focused in the second half,” said East St. John coach Joe Perrilloux. “I reminded them that there’s no coming in third for us. We have to come in second to make the playoffs, so we need to play our best now.”
Meanwhile, Tyrionne Deary scored twice to pace the Wildcats against Ehret Friday. Bell scored as well for ESJ.
“The past two games, the team has been ready to play. It’s been fun,” said Perrilloux.
“We’ve had some girls out with the flu, some others that couldn’t play (Monday), but people are stepping up. We’ve shuffled the lineup and people are doing what needs to be done.”
ESJ will have two matches left after the Destrehan match Friday. A key difference from last season’s scenario is that while ESJ’s overtime win earned an eventual wildcard berth into the postseason, the Ladycats’ rocky start this season almost ensures that ESJ must win one of the district’s two automatic bids.
Perrilloux said that if it comes down to a tie in second place between Destrehan and ESJ, it would be broken by victory margin; DHS won by a single goal in the first game, so ESJ would have to win by two to avoid a playoff tiebreaker match.
“We didn’t finish that first game off at home like we felt we should have,” said Perrilloux. “So we have a chance to make it right this time.”
ESJ BOYS STAY IN HUNT WITH TWO WINS — East St. John logged a pair of key district victories over the past week to keep its playoff hopes alive.
The Wildcats (6-14, 4-3) toppled Higgins 3-0 and Ehret 3-0, the former at home and the latter on the road, to move to 4-3 in District 8-I play.
Against Higgins Monday, Greg Burnett led the way with two goals while Sisavath Paneyanuvong added another.
In the Ehret victory, Burnett, Kadeem Vance and Avery Williams each accounted for goals.
ESJ is currently in third place in district play, two games back of second place Hahnville.
“I feel like we control our own destiny,” said East St. John coach Paul Dupuy. “If we can win out, I think we’ll get in.”
Dupuy said that his team, boasting a roster filled with underclassmen, has rapidly improved. Its defensive prowess, specifically, has truly shined, as ESJ has allowed just a single goal within the last four matches.
“We’re building a system,” said Dupuy. “Not only to help us try to reach the playoffs this season, but also to help us two and three years down the road as these young guys mature … We’ve built some depth this year as we’ve dealt with injuries and absence. So there’s a lot that I’m excited about.”