MAYO — Finding a way to stop Lafayette striker Emmanuel Tovar is no easy task. Saint Joseph Academy had no answer for him or the rest of the Hornets during the second half of Wednesday’s regional quarterfinal match.
Tovar scored two goals and Lafayette owned the final 40 minutes of play to come away with a 5-1 victory at Dale Walker Field.
“In the first half we had three shots that hit the crossbar, posts — we just couldn’t get it in,” said Tovar, whose team went into halftime tied 1-1. “In the second half we started finishing our shots. We started playing more of our game. That’s what helped us win this playoff game.”
A well-placed corner kick from Carter Higginbotham helped start the scoring in the second for the Hornets. The freshman midfielder curved in a beautiful pass that Shawn Shasteen headed into the back of the net, putting LHS ahead 2-1 in the 44th minute.
“We’ve worked on the corner so many times, and we got the result tonight,” said Hornets’ coach Pedro Resendiz.
After Shasteen’s goal, Tovar started to dominate. He scored on an assist from Higginbotham in the 67th minute. Two minutes later, Tovar took a free kick from just outside the box and lofted a shot into the top-right corner of the net.
LHS goalie Jose Resendiz shut down any possibility of a Flashes’ comeback with a strong game in net. He made seven saves.
For the Hornets, Quentin Sutley scored in the fifth minute and Omar Carreon notched the final goal of the game in the 76th minute.
Lafayette (19-1-3) travels to St. Johns Country Day on Saturday to take on the 16-1 Spartans, who beat Rocky Bayou Christian 4-0 in their playoff opener.
“I think 19 wins is the best season we've ever had. This is history for us and I think it means a lot to the community, alumni and the players who worked hard for four and a half long months. The majority of our players are 10th and 11th graders. We’re building something special right here.”
— LHS assistant coach and former Hornet Josue Licea