Cardinals topple Terriers in key district match

E.D. White Catholic's Derek Knight (1) clears the ball between Vandebilt Catholic's Nicholas Terrebonne (23) and James Schwab (13) during Tuesday's District 8-II match at Buddy Marcello Stadium in Houma. (Photo by Benjamin Oliver Hicks/Staff)

Two quick strikes through the fog at Buddy Marcello Stadium left the Vandebilt Catholic boys soccer team stunned and gave its opponent in red a great head start in the race for a key District 8-II soccer victory on Tuesday night in Houma.

In the end, E.D. White Catholic held Vandebilt off for the 3-2 win, but both coaches agreed at the conclusion of the match that the 2-0 lead obtained by the Cardinals in the opening minutes proved to be the difference.

"That was huge," Bimah said. "That was the game right there."

"As far as I'm concerned the game was lost in the first half," Terriers coach Matt Kelso said.

The win moved the Cardinals to 15-4-3 overall and 5-0 in district, and after a win earlier in the season over the Terriers (6-7-2, 2-2 in district), E.D. White now has the inside track toward the district title.

Just after the opening kick, E.D. White's Colby Masse played a volley near the top of the circle above the penalty box and ripped a shot into the upper left-hand corner of the net past a diving Patrick Watson, who was manning the goal for the Terriers.

The shot rattled in off the corner of the top left post and caught some crossbar and went in for a 1-0 E.D. White lead.

"That was an amazing volley," said E.D. White's Seth Ledet, who later added goal No. 3 for E.D. White.

"That was a special goal," Bimah added.

Masse then played a large part in setting up E.D. White's second goal. After he took a little flick off a header from a teammate past midfield he pushed toward goal and took a shot that was deflected out of bounds by Watson for an E.D. White corner kick.

Rene Thibodaux then drove the corner kick into the box where Derek Knight got a foot on it and put it in for the 2-0 E.D. White advantage.

"We got caught ball watching," Kelso said. "We had too many breakdowns, credit E.D. White. E.D. White came out with a good game plan and tried to catch us on a quick counter attack and capitalize on our mistakes, and they did that. I told our guys after if you can't pick up a pencil, you can't write, and (Tuesday night) we couldn't pick up a pencil."

Bimah said he was happy with how his team finished early on.

"We executed well, took our chances, and we made them," Bimah said. "We finished well."

But Vandebilt answered back quickly to make it 2-1.

After the Cardinals failed to clear the ball in their box, Vandebilt's Christopher Wood slid in aggressively and sent the ball up into the net and past Cardinals goalie Brendon Gros to cut the Cardinals lead in half.

But E.D. White added its third goal of the first half just before halftime when Thibodaux setup near midfield on a free kick. He drove a long lofting ball perfectly into the box, and it found the end of Ledet's foot for a goal and a 3-1 E.D. White lead.

"Coach always tells us to do your job and be where you are supposed to be, and it fell for us," Ledet said. "Earlier in the game I had the same type of situation, but I tried to take a step, but that time I just one-timed it. This win was amazing. Last year we came here, and they beat us down, but now we are in the driver's seat in the district, and we are going to keep working hard."

Early in the second half, the Terriers cut the lead to 3-2 when a foul was given just inside the penalty box, and Seth Miller converted on a penalty kick goal that cut the Cardinals lead back to one goal.

"You have to give Vandebilt credit," Bimah said. "When we went up 3-1, I thought they were going to quit. They kept fighting, and we made a couple of critical mistakes that let them back in the game."

Both teams had other opportunities to score later in the second half, and the Terriers even threatened twice at point-blank range, but the Cardinals defense kept them from tying the match despite a couple of nervous instances, and Gros secured the win in goal.

"It's big," Gros said of the win. "These are our biggest games of the year. We work hard for these. We have everything to lose if Vandy beats us, and it was teamwork that got us through. Those (early) goals took a lot of pressure off me. We knew Vandy would come out hard, but we had to come out harder, and we did it."

Kelso said with the district title likely out of reach, he is asking each of his players to reevaluate themselves and their goals in moving forward.

"E.D. White plays together. They are organized. They play together as a team, and I just don't see it with our boys," Kelso said. "Our boys look good. They have a nice locker room and great uniforms, but that doesn't define them as people. I told them that if they are not dedicated and live and breathe this game, they are not going to be successful. We need to reevaluate our goals and go out there and play for fun."

Vandebilt's Mitchell Blanchard and Patrick Yancey were each shown yellow cards in the match.


At Houma before the boys match, two goals near the end of the first half for the Lady Terriers proved to be the difference in the District 8-II victory at foggy Buddy Marcello Stadium.

Makelle Pena scored for Vandebilt to give the Lady Terriers a 1-0 lead, but a goal by Ashlynn Folse of E.D. White (5-7-4, 2-3 in district) tied it at one before Pena scored on a long crossing shot and Kim Grasso netted a penalty kick just before the half, and the Lady Terriers took the 3-1 lead into the second half.

Vandebilt improved to 20-2 overall and 4-0 in district.

"We got out of here with a win, and we played 98 percent of the game on their side of the field," Lady Terriers coach Phil Amedee said. "Their keeper made some exceptional saves. That 3-1 is a good solid win. We can clean some stuff up in the back a little bit but all in all, a good effort. It was a good match to prepare us for the playoffs."

E.D. White coach Don Grabert said he was proud of the way his team competed.

"They are the No. 1 team in the state, and we had them 1-1," Grabert said. "I thought we played great defense. We hustled. We stayed with them. We marked people. You just have to give them credit. They have a great program. I thought we stepped up and played how we are capable of playing. We did a good job."

E.D. White goalie Taylor Benoit stopped a penalty kick in the first half and added a couple of other stellar saves on the night.

"She did awesome," Grabert said of Benoit's effort.

Mary Ann Clark got the win in goal for Vandebilt.


At Thibodaux, the Trojans improved to 11-2-3 overall and 7-I in the District 8-1 match, and Forest Verdin (seven saves) got the victory in goal.

The Trojans got a hat trick and an assist from Trey Arabie, a goal from Daniel Frias, a goal from Devin Foret and two assists each from Bud Autin and Mason Daigle. Tommy Thibodaux scored the lone goal for the Tigers.


At Thibodaux, Heather Naquin scored two goals and Katelyn Terrell added another as the Lady Tigers picked up the District 7-I victory.

Central Lafourche (4-5 in district) got a goal from Claire Melancon. Avery Theriot got the win in goal for Thibodaux.


At Galliano, the Braves got four goals from Jared Matherne and a goal each from Alex Cunningham and Blake Doiron in taking the District 7-I victory.


At Galliano, the Lady Braves got goals from Tandy Dubois, Catherine Schexnayder and Faylee Sokolowski in moving to 10-3-2 overall and 5-3 in District 7-I. The match was scoreless at halftime, and Hallie Smith and Ruth Gautreaux split time in goal for the Lady Braves.


At Bourg, the Lady Gators got four goals from Carrigan Chauvin, two goals each from Alyssa Ross and Julia Arceneaux, and a goal from Lexie Ruiz in improving to 5-7 overall and 2-3 in District 8-II. Megan Trosclair and Alexis Adams each saw time in goal for the Lady Gators.


The New Iberia at Terrebonne boys and girls District 7-I soccer matches scheduled for Tuesday will be played today at Tom B. Smith Stadium in Houma. The matches were postponed because of wet field conditions.

The girls match is set for 5 p.m., and the boys match is set for 7 p.m.