As the postseason goes on, the games get tougher, and the Sulphur Tors know they will need a better performance today than the one they had in the first round if they want to stay alive in the Division I boys soccer playoffs.
“We are looking forward to the game and giving a better performance than last Friday,” Sulphur head coach Trevor Foolkes said. “We want to show our fans that we can play a lot better than Friday.
“We had a very good practice yesterday. They now realize the playoffs are a totally different game. I think we will perform a lot better (today).”
The No. 8 Tors (13-2-3) face what is very likely their toughest test of the season today when they host No. 9 Dutchtown (12-7-2) in the regional round. Dutchtown beat defending state champion and sixth-ranked St. Paul’s earlier in the season 2-1, ending the Wolves’ 54-game win streak. The Griffins also tied No. 2 Jesuit 1-1. St. Paul’s last loss to an in-state team was to Jesuit in the Division I finals Feb. 24, 2018.
Dutchtown lost to St. Paul’s in the semifinals last season 4-3 and has a young team this year with just two seniors.
“They are very good,” Foolkes said “They are well organized and very fast again.
“They may not be as physical as East Ascension, but they are a step up skill-wise which is what you would expect in the playoffs. They have beaten some good teams, and they tied Jesuit. Obviously, they have talent. They don’t have that one wow player. They are just all-around good.”
Sulphur fell behind twice last week in the bidistrict round before beating East Ascension 3-2 in overtime.
“When I went back and watched a little bit of film, it was just one of those games,” Foolkes said. “We didn’t play to our usual level. Our passes were not hard enough or accurate enough. We just didn’t finish them.”
Foolkes is looking for better ball movement and positioning.
“We are trying to improve getting the ball down the sideline and get some more crosses in,” Foolkes said. “We had a tendency last game to bunch up in the middle of the field. That kind of contributed to us playing a little slow. I hope they can get the ball out wider and that is how we scored the third down.”
Foolkes was impressed with the play of senior Nick Poncho after he scored the game-winner in overtime against East Ascension
“Think Nick Poncho played really well for us,” Foolkes said. “He is one of our few seniors.
“He was in the right place at the weight time, and the example is that winning goal. He is good at getting the ball, lifting his head and working it down the sidelines.”
Sulphur 40, Southside 36
The Sulphur Lady Tors won back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month after beating Southside at home 40-36 Monday night.
Sulphur (13-13, 2-1) trailed 22-17 at halftime but held the Sharks (17-8, 3-2) to 14 points in the second half.
Sophomore forward Emma Thomson led Sulphur with 11 points. Kamryn Thibodeaux scored 9 points, Gabby Gunter had 7 points and 5 steals, and Gracie Higginbotham had 4 points and 8 rebounds.
Eymani Key led Southside with 13 points.
Sulphur travels to Acadiana (12-14, 1-2) Friday.
The No. 8 Tors face No. 9 Dutchtown in the regional round of the high school soccer playoffs today.