DENHAM SPRINGS - Denham Springs used a twin set of goals less than a minute apart and a dominant defensive performance to cruise past Captain Shreve 5-0 in the regional round of the Division I playoffs.
The Yellow Jackets held the Gators to just two shots in the game, a pair of shots on target that came in the 15th and 73rd minute.
Fifth-seeded Denham Springs (21-4-2) advances to next Monday's 6 p.m. quarterfinal round at fourth-seeded St. Amant, a 5-2 winner over Baton Rouge.
Denham Springs negated most of the attacks from Captain Shreve (14-11-1) before they developed. When they advance to the final third, the Yellow Jackets swarmed to the ball.
“This time our midfield really stepped up,” Denham Springs coach Chris Thorne said. “Brennan Amato played lights out. He didn’t let anything through. Hats off to him…he outworked their midfield and that makes life easier for our defense.”
Amato praised his team’s effort.
“This was the best game of our season,” he said. “I’m so happy that we’re on to the next round of playoffs. We did great.”
Denham finished with 21 shots, placing 10 on target. The Yellow Jackets took six corners and eight free kicks.
The Yellow Jackets’ offensive burst came in part from a tweak made in the lineup.
Thorne moved midfielder Collin Turner to the top of the formation to accentuate his passing more with forward Will Chevalier, putting his faster players out on the wings.
That move paid off with the Yellow Jackets scoring with a pair of back-to-back goals in the 24th and 25th minute from Turner and Chevalier.
On the first goal Chevalier advanced the ball into the deep third and threaded a beautiful through ball to Turner, who took a touch to let the defense overrun him before shooting the ball between defenders and into the net.
Less than a minute later Turner connected with Chevalier, who volleyed the ball into the net from close range for a 2-0 lead.
“I’ve said all along that if Will and Collin could work together, I’m not sure I’ve seen a defense that could stop them,” Thorne said. “Our problem has been trying to get them to work together consistently. Tonight, they did, and they showed why they’re so dangerous…when they work together, it’s deadly.”
“It’s one of the best feelings in the world,” Turner said. “You just know whenever it’s on that it’s going to be a fun game. You keep working hard for each other and keep finding each other, playing unselfish and it gets you a game where you’re winning 5-0 and you’re smiling the whole time.”
The Yellow Jackets added a third in the 58th minute when Luke Turner converted a penalty kick followed goals from Axel Agurcia off a corner and Daniel Goerges.
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