Late Surge Pushes Crusaders Past Wildcats

IMG_9098In the opening round of the LHSAA Soccer playoffs, the No. 6 seed Crusaders came away with a 3-1 victory over the No. 27 Destrehan Wildcats at Pan American Stadium on Friday night.

Both offenses were stuck in the midfield as neither team could find a rhythm in the first half. The Crusaders (12-2-4) had fired six shots, including four on goal, but had nothing to show for it.

Miles Francis entered the match for his first minutes late in the first half and that proved to be the difference maker for the Crusaders.

Francis got inside the Destrehan defender and rifled a shot past the Wildcat keeper to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead right before the first half expired.

In the second half, the Wildcats applied more pressure on the Crusader defense but goalkeeper Thomas Peters came up with four big saves to keep the Crusader lead.  Destrehan finally broke through with a high-arcing goal over Peters’s head to tie the game in the 71st minute.

With their hearts set on not going into overtime, the Crusader offense stepped on the gas and applied heavy pressure on the Wildcat defense.  Freshmen Blake Robbins was tackled in the penalty box on a break away which Francis converted into a goal in the 76th minute to give Martin a 2-1 edge. Senior William Thiele added to the lead with his goal in the 79th minute.

The Crusader soccer team will face the Lafayette Lions on Wednesday night at Pan American in the Regional round of the LHSAA playoffs.  Start time is set for 7:00pm.

Click for Francis' post game interview