Sulphur scores 7th straight, blanks St. Louis 2-0
Published 1:17 pm Saturday, December 24, 2022
Since breaking even at the COPA Acadiana tournament three weeks ago, the Sulphur Tors have turned up the heat even while temperatures have plummeted.
The Tors blanked St. Louis Catholic 2-0 on the road Thursday for their seventh consecutive win. They have outscored opponents 34-4 during that time.
“Ever since that COPA Acadiana tournament where we played Jesuit, Brother Martin and Mandeville, the guys really stepped up that weekend and realized we can play,” Sulphur head coach Trevor Foolkes said. “We have to maintain and improve where we are at. We have two more games before district, but we are just trying to get better each game.”
Robert Campos opened the scoring when he found some running room on the left side in the 26th minute and fired off a shot from near the top of the 18-yard box.
He assisted on the Tors’ (11-1-2) second goal in the 58th minute with a crossing pass from the left corner to Kole Poncho, who punched it in.
Foolkes liked the Tors’ intensity but said they have to work on missed opportunities, scoring two goals on 12 shots.
“I liked the intensity and effort. What I did not like is that we didn’t finish. Obviously, the best player on the team is the St. Louis goalkeeper. I am very happy with the overall performance.”
Saint goalkeeper Noah Ellender kept coming up with big stops despite the Saints (9-2-3) being down two starting defenders due to injuries suffered in a game against Barbe on Wednesday. Ellender finished with eight saves.
Ellender stopped three shots in the first 10 minutes of the game, including a one-hander on a shot by Simon Leblanc. He stopped a penalty kick by Campos in the 48th minute and made a foot-save on another Tor scoring attempt a minute later.
“Noah (Ellender) had one of his best games,” St. Louis Catholic head coach Jason Oertling said. “I thought Sulphur, especially at the beginning of the second half, really put us under a lot of pressure, whether it be saving the PK or saving a deflection.
“Defensively, we asked Stephen Polito to step up and play sweeper. That is not his normal position. I thought defensively we did a lot of good things. Against a team like Sulphur, if you make one or two mistakes, they are going to make you pay for it.”
The loss ended the Saints’ five-game win streak.
“Obiviously, the two injuries we had yesterday against Barbe didn’t allow us to put everybody where we would want upfront to be a little bit more aggressive,” Oertling said. “But I can’t say enough about the effort of the kids, being down two starters and still competing against a team like Sulphur.
“Sulphur is as good of a team as there is in the state, but we also talked about even though our effort is there, we have to be able to beat teams like Sulphur if we want to advance in the playoffs.”