With the rain pelting Lee Hedges Stadium consistently Thursday night, Captain Shreve did the same to Caddo Magnet’s defense in a 4-0 win.
After about 20 minutes of stalemate soccer, even with the Mustangs arguably possessing the ball more, Shreve’s Chad Usry opened the flood gates with a rocket goal from about 35 yards out.
The Gators poured in two more first-half goals – an Usry penalty kick and a Nick Hammond goal on an assist from Hardy Hall – to take a commanding lead.
Hall sent a through ball to Hammond on the left wing, and Hammond finished from close range.
“We played disciplined, obviously the weather was terrible for both teams, but I told everybody that they had a role to play, and we took our chances when they gave it to us,” said Captain Shreve coach Stephen Slack. “(Usry’s goal) took the weight off our shoulders … and we had a couple of opportunities that didn’t work out with balls that run too far, but it let us know that what we were doing could be successful.”
Hall connected with Hammond again for the lone second-half goal early in the period. Hall lobbed a ball into the box that bounced over a Magnet defender, and Hammond scored on a close-range header for their second goal-assist combination.
Hall also drew the penalty kick that Usry scored in the first half.
“This is a testament to what our boys have done all year long, and it’s a process and a system,” Slack said. “We’re not trying to live off of luck or what not.
“Chad and Nick get a lot of the glory, but Hardy Hall and guys like that keep grinding away and keep supplying balls.”
Caddo Magnet had multiple scoring opportunities in the second half, but one great save by Shreve keeper Alec Melvin paired with a couple of mishits kept the Mustangs off the board.
Captain Shreve (10-4-2) remains undefeated against Louisiana teams, and the Gators clinched at least a share of the Division I, District I title. Magnet (8-5-2, 5-3-1) knocked off second-place Byrd (15-7-1, 5-2-1 before Thursday’s game against Parkway) earlier this week.