Acadiana High head coach Jan Richard was confident before the game that the Rams’ quarterfinals match against the 2012 state runner-up St. Paul’s was “a winnable game.”
Richard was right as the Rams created a plethora of scoring opportunities. Unfortunately for them, they were unable to convert on the scoring chances.
As a result were shutout 2-0 by St. Paul’s at St. Thomas More on Tuesday.
“We missed too many chances,” Richard said. “We had our chances to score and we missed them. We had a lot of point blank chances, but we just couldn’t take advantage of them.”
The Rams, who played their home game at STM as a result of the rainstorm which left their field unplayable, appeared to struggle with the field-turf surface, but Richard disagreed.
“The field didn’t have a part in how the game turned out,” Richard said. “Playing on the field-turf didn’t help us in anyway and it didn’t hurt us in anyway. We battled the entire match. Our kids fought and fought until the end, the difference in the game is that we didn’t finish and they did.”
St. Paul’s took an early 1-0 lead when they scored inside the ninth minute on a goal by Cameron Robinson that just got by the Rams’ goalkeeper.
“Their first goal came on a miscommunication on our part,” Richard said. “Defensively, I felt like we did a good job in the game, but we just had a miscommunication and they took advantage of it.”
Throughout the remainder of the first half, the Rams enjoyed a couple of shots that were saved by St. Paul’s goalkeeper which preserved the 1-0 advantage going into halftime.
In the second half, St. Paul’s gave themselves some breathing room with a second goal in the 56th minute when Davis Neitzschman delivered a perfect pass to Eric Guin who drilled it above a leaping Rams goalkeeper Tanner Dubuc for a 2-0 lead. Dubuc was solid in the net for the Rams as he made a couple of great saves on shots on goal by St. Paul.
“The second goal for them was a breakdown defensively for us,” Richard said. “We had a guy that got bead and they finished it. We were there with them speed for speed, but once they scored the second goal they compressed the middle.”
Richard applauded the effort of his Rams not only in the game against St. Paul’s but throughout the season as they’ve endured a great deal of adversity.
“Winners never quit,” Richard said. “My kids are definitely winners because they never quit. It just wasn’t meant to be. The effort for us was there and we created a lot of scoring chances but we didn’t capitalize. This team has battled all year and I honestly couldn’t be any prouder of them. Tonight just wasn’t our night. St. Paul’s had chances to finish opportunities and they did. We had chances and we didn’t. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it is what it is.”
Follow assistant sports editor Eric Narcisse on Twitter @tdanarcisse.