Soccer: Patrick Taylor boys blank Thomas Jefferson on Senior Night

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Patrick F. Taylor completed a sweep the season series versus their West Bank counterparts from Thomas Jefferson in boys soccer Friday at Hoss Memtsas Stadium with a 2-0 win on Senior Night.

The Tigers kept the pressure on Thomas Jefferson throughout the match with outstanding midfield play by seniors Willem VanderMeulen, Jose Salgado, Julien Cattles and Bilal Al-Bissisi. The quartet distributed the ball evenly throughout the match while also providing superior defense.

Unable to score on five shots in the first half, Taylor (5-7-3) settled for scoreless draw at the half.

“That has been the story of our season,” noted Tigers coach James Potter. “We just can’t seem to find the net. We get great opportunities to score, but we hit the post or just miss wide. The guys never get down or upset though. They just keep attacking.”

The defensive backline of senior Andres Gallardo and junior Alex Walker provided outstanding clearances to the Tigers offensive half. “Our seniors have played well this season and we have added a good mix of juniors along with some very talented underclassmen that bring energy throughout the match,” added Potter.

The second half began the same way as the Tigers controlled the ball. Junior forward Ryan Boudreaux and the senior forward Cattles worked several quick touches to place pressure on the Jaguars in the second half. The Tigers missed on a few backside shots, but kept applying pressure until a breakthrough came on a header by Boudreaux in the 63rd minute off the foot of Cattles.

Taylor scored again on a corner kick from VanderMeulen at the 68th minute mark.

Senior Jacob LeBlanc, normally the starting center back, switched to goal keeper and performed expertly when called upon with field-flipping kicks.

Potter also commended seniors Minh Nguyen, Joel Gouborel and Treyvor Hughes as part of his squad’s strong foundation in a record-setting campaign for wins in a season, total varsity victories for a class, district wins and goals scored.

“We played with great communication tonight, gave it all we had,” said Salgado. “I could not be more proud of every single teammate or Taylor Tiger. We wanted this match for Patrick Taylor soccer and the school.”

On the cusp of the program’s first playoff appearance, Taylor will complete the regular season by traveling to face Houma Christian on Monday and then to Lafitte for a Tuesday District IV match against Fisher.

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