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St. Amant blanks Vandebilt, 1-0


Vandebilt Catholic's Seth Miller dribbles around a St. Amant defender on Thursday in Houma. (Photo by Jim Cenac/Correspondent)


Vandebilt Catholic’s defense was rock solid as usual on Thursday against Division I opponent St. Amant.

However, the Division II Terriers needed to be perfect.

St. Amant managed to trickle a single shot past Terriers goalie Patrick Watson for 1-0 nondistrict victory at Buddy Marcello Stadium. It was fourth 1-0 loss for the Terriers this season.

“I didn’t feel at one time that we were going to lose this game,” Terriers coach Matt Kelso said. “I thought we were in control the whole game. We defend well. Unfortunately, we don’t score goals. If you don’t score goals, you don’t win games.”

Vandebilt (5-6-2 overall) nearly got on the scoreboard in the first minute. Andrew Teuton dribbled the ball from midfield to the backline. There he outmuscled a Gators defender, made a quick pivot and blasted a shot that was saved by Gators goalkeeper Cole Beniot (five saves).

The Terriers dominated possession for the first 30 minutes of the match and kept the pressure on the Gators defense. However, their shots were just off target.

“We knew Vandebilt was going to come out fast. We were just lucky their shots were wide,” St. Amant coach Adrian Garcia said. “It took us a while to get going, but we just had to battle it out until then.”

St. Amant (14-3-1) found some offensive rhythm in the final 10 minutes of the half.

Nathan Martinez booted a 25-yard shot that hit the crossbar and hit a pair of headers that Watson (eight saves) grabbed to keep the game scoreless at halftime.

Both squads began the second stanza sluggishly, but in the 57th minute Gators player Rantz Bourgeois found the back of the net.

Bourgeois dribbled up the right sideline and settled the ball before outmaneuvering a Terriers defender. He blasted a 20-yard shot that bounced of Watson’s outstretched fingertips and rolled into the net.

“He’s been hurt, limping around the past week,” Garcia said of Bourgeois. “I didn’t expect him to play this much, but he’s a battler. He came through and helped his teammates out.”

The Terriers desperately tried to find the equalizer but to no avail. In the 68th minute, Adam Farrar nearly headed in a throw-in from Dwight Howard. But Benoit leapt and got just enough of the ball to send it over the crossbar.

Vandebilt got a final shot off inside the goal area two minutes into extra time, but however Benoit swallowed up the ball to preserve to win.

Such a lack of offensive production is unfamiliar to Vandebilt, a perennial Division II soccer powerhouse. The Terriers have been shutout in every loss this season and both ties were 0-0.

Kelso said he believes a shortage of attitude and confidence is keeping his squad from scoring more goals.

“We have kids that just want to play a supporting role. We need guys who want to step up and be heroes, and we don’t have that right now,” Kelso said. “We need help from our front players. I know our defenders go home very frustrated at night.”

Kelso knows losing can take on a momentum of its own just as fast as winning does so he said he wants to turn this streak around before the wrong mentality gets into his team’s psyche.

“We can’t keep taking 1-0 losses. It becomes a habitual thing,” Kelso said. “We have to go into these games knowing we’re going to win and not just hoping to score a goal.”

 

LADY TERRIERS SOCCER TEAM WINS TWO

At the Mandeville Tournament, the Lady Terriers improved to 14-0 on the season with a 4-0 victory over Lakeshore and a 2-0 victory over East Ascension on Thursday.

In the win over Lakeshore, Makelle Pena scored two goals and Kim Grasso and Grace Champagne each added another.

In the win over East Ascension, Pena and Grasso each scored a goal.

Sarah Comeaux and Maryanne Clark each saw time in goal for Vandebilt during both matches.

The Lady Terriers play Northshore (9:30 a.m.) and St. Joseph’s Academy (2 p.m.) in the tourney today.