Lafayette High used its high intensity, relentless attack Thursday night to knock off former district rival New Iberia 4-0 in the second round of the playoffs at Lion Stadium.
With the win the Lions move on to host St. Thomas More next week in the quarterfinals, a team they’ve beaten three times this season.
“We are just very technical and we want it,” said senior Ethan Judice. “This team is like a family and that helps us in every game.”
The Lions jumped out to an early lead.
First, Ezra Hebert booted one in from short range around the 23 minute mark.
Ethan Judice took the ball deep in the right corner of the pitch. He belted it into the box where Hebert beat his man, controlled the ball and turned to whiz it past a diving goalie.
“For that first goal I was just in the right place at the right time,” Judice said. “I got a great pass and was able to take advantage.”
Ten minutes later, Judice once again was able to penetrate the Jackets defense, dribbling and juking his way into the box. Just before he dribbled out of the back of end zone he slid and centered the ball.
Two lions whiffed at the bouncing ball, but as the trailing New Iberia defender tried to clear it out he inadvertently kicked it into his own goal, giving the Lions a 2-0 lead.
“The game plan coming in was to just stay strong,” Judice said. “We never let our foot off the petal.”
They continued their blitzkrieg of the Jackets goal throughout the half, sending in 19 shots in all.
The NISH keeper was able to get in front of four of them for the save.
The Lions wasted little time in the second half as they pushed their lead to 3-0.
At the 33 minute mark Hebert lined up a shot from 25 yards out. He blasted it toward the far left post and the goalie gave chase. However, a sliding Jacket defender ricocheted the ball as he slid in front of it.
The ball agonizingly bounced toward the goal as the goalie scuttled to try and change his momentum. But the ball rolled into the back of the net.
“I really got lucky on that goal,” Hebert said. “The ball just seemed to bounce my way.”
The Lions added a goal in stoppage time when Aaron Crain scored on a penalty kick.