The Sulphur Tors are hoping the changes they have made throughout the season will carry over into the playoffs.
The Tors started the season 4-4-4, allowing 1.25 goals a game. But over their last 10 games, the Tors have gone 8-1-1 and allowed just 0.4 goals a game, including a 1-0 shutout win over Division II No. 2 St. Thomas More.
“We have moved people around to different positions and getting others playing time,” Sulphur head coach Trevor Foolkes said. “Some sophomores and freshmen have stepped up, and we have put the pieces together.
“It is not major changes. But changes that compliment the team, and it made us more secure on defense.”
Some of the moves the Tors made was Zach Piaz’s move to defense, Gabe Landry went from right to left-back, and Mathew Holmes moved up to forward.
The No. 17 Tors (12-5-5) will try to hand No. 16 West Monroe (11-0-6) its first loss of the season on Saturday in the first round of the Division I playoffs. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at West Monroe High School. Sulphur tied the Rebels 1-1 back in December.
“The main thing is that we had to play West Monroe early in the year, but that team from then to now is a whole different group,” Foolkes said. “They have two or three dangerous players that we didn’t pick up.
“Their forward ended up getting a good goal. If we deny him, we have a chance. They have not lost a game all year, and them and St. Paul are the only ones. We have to make sure defensively that we pick up their major threats.”
Sulphur senior goalkeeper Tanner Massey is averaging 2.25 saves and 0.94 goals against per game.
Sophomore forward Kaleb Lirette leads the Tors’ offense with 14 goals and two assists. Senior Mathew Walsh had six goals and eight assists, and freshman Erick Zuniga had five goals and three assists.
No. 22 Sulphur at No. 11 St. Amant
Sulphur will head east today looking to win a first-round playoff game for the second consecutive season.
No. 22 Sulphur (11-9-3) will play a familiar foe in No. 11 St. Amant (15-6-2) today at 5:30 p.m. in St. Amant. The Lady Gators handed Sulphur its first loss of the season on November 23, 1-0 at the Dunham tournament.
“Getting a matchup against St. Amant gives us a little bit of confidence since we have already played them early on in the season,” Sulphur head coach Dedie Zachary said. “We know a little bit more of what to expect. It was a close game, and we are hoping to be able to go and compete for the win. Our girls are excited to have gained a playoff spot, and we are preparing ourselves mentally.”
Defense will be key with St. Amant averaging 4.35 goals per game.
“I’ve already told the girls they need to step on that field and leave their heart on it. St. Amant has a very fast and accurate counter,” Zachary said. “We will have to be prepared as a defense to slow down and shutdown that attack.
“If we can hold through defense and midfield, we have a genuine opportunity to pull off an upset.”
Senior Breanna Verdine leads Sulphur with 21 goals and senior Mia Labove has four goals and eight assists.
No. 22 Minden at No. 11 Sam Houston
MOSS BLUFF — No. 11 Sam Houston will put its four-game win streak to the test today when its hosts No. 22 Minden in the first round of the Division II playoffs.
Sam Houston (11-7-1) has won six of its last seven games and only given up two goals in its last four games.
The Lady Broncos are looking to end a string of back-to-back home playoff losses. They lost to Parkway 3-1 in the regional round last season and 3-2 to South Terrebonne in the first round in 2018.
Sam Houston has reached the regional round three of the last four seasons. The Lady Broncos finished second in District 3-II behind No. 1 St. Thomas More (16-4-5).