Sometimes a play unfolds exactly the way a coach plans it, players practice it, and fans dream it will carry their team to victory.
That’s what happened at Parkview Baptist School on Saturday when Parkview upset No. 3 Catholic High-New Iberia 1-0 in a Division III boys soccer quarterfinal playoff game.
After the teams had battled through 73 hard fought, scoreless minutes, 11th-seeded Parkview (12-7-2) came up with the play of the game. Forward Daniel Myers collected a ball near the left sideline and fought off challenges from two defenders as he carried the ball toward the end line. After clearing the defenders, he laid a perfect centering pass to the far post where Ayshar Sheikha headed the ball to the back of the net.
The Eagles kept Catholic-NI (23-3-2) at bay for the final seven minutes to earn a semifinal spot against Episcopal, a 3-1 winner over Lusher Charter.
Parkview coach Roger Charcap was happy to get the goal but a little surprised one goal was enough to win the game.
“I was expecting a 2-1 game or maybe a 3-2 game like our past game (a 2-0 Parkview loss early in the season),” he said. “They’re solid defensively, they don’t make many mistakes and I told my boys we needed to look for the right times to send players forward to create better numbers.
“At the end we were just attacking with just two players, but we just played a phenomenal ball in that beat their entire back line. It was on, the player (Sheikha) read it perfectly and we just put it away.”
It was a wide-open, physical game with much running and much contact on and off the ball. Referee Wale Animashaun let the players play, though he issued three yellow cards, two to Catholic-NI and one to Parkview.
“We’re a physical team,” Charcap said, “and they’re more a finesse team, but they definitely matched our intensity today, for sure.”
Parkview had the upper hand in the first half, winning second balls and loose balls. With Myers, Sheikha and Joseph Guercio attacking from forward positions and Austin James and Brandon Temple working the midfield, the Eagles outshot Catholic-NI 11-3, but they failed to get the ball past Catholic-NI goalkeeper Dustin Romero.
Parkview squandered an opportunity in the 38th minute, when James banged a header off the post following a free kick, and Guercio tapped the rebound wide left.
Romero had five saves in the half, and his booming punts were an offensive weapon for the Panthers.
Catholic-NI coach Brandon Francis was impressed with the Parkview effort.
“It was just that they outhustled us,” Francis said. “They showed a lot of discipline defending. They showed a lot of heart and desire, and they believe.”
The Panthers changed tactics and turned up the heat in the second half, and they outshot Parkview 7-2. For a four-minute burst starting in the 54th minute they controlled the ball in front of the Parkview goal with two corner kicks, a couple of throw-ins, and several quality looks, but they couldn’t convert.
“It was one of those days when it just wouldn’t go in,” Francis said. “We just didn’t show up to play, and our touches were way off.”
Parkview managed two shots in the second half, but Sheikha’s big goal was all they needed.
It was Catholic-New Iberia’s second quarterfinal loss in two years at the Parkview stadium. University High eliminated the Panthers at that venue in the 2012 playoffs.
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