Tors host soccer semifinal for first time in program history

Published 9:16 am Saturday, February 18, 2023

The sixth-ranked Sulphur Tor soccer team is in uncharted territory with their first semifinal game in program history.

Another win will extend their historic season to the Division I finals next week in Hammond.

Head coach Trevor Foolkes said it has simply been the team’s desire to win that has driven them this season after losing most of their starters from last year’s quarterfinal team.

“We lost nine starters from last season, and not a lot of people thought that we would have the success that we have had this year. It is just the desire and hunger to compete to win a game.”

The Tors face No. 9 Dutchdown today at 2 p.m. Dutchtown upset No. 1 Catholic-Baton Rouge on Tuesday 1-0 in overtime. The Griffins knocked the Tors out of the playoffs two seasons ago in the regional round on the Tors’ home field. Since then, the Tors have lost just one home game, to St. Thomas More on Jan. 28.

“I am sure they are all fired up after beating Catholic, which I don’t think too many expected except for Dutchtown because they played them in the championship game last year, and that was a close game too,” Foolkes said. “We played them the last couple of seasons.

“They beat us last season in the regular season, and then they knocked out in the playoffs the year before at home. Both games were decided by one goal, so I expect a tight close game. Hopefully, there will be more people in the stadium, which would be kind of a surprise to the guys because they haven’t experienced that type of atmosphere at home either in the quarterfinals or semifinals.”

Robert Campos set a school record this season with 30 goals, while the defense has made huge strides led by a senior four-year starter at goalkeeper, Erick Zuniga (0.56 goals allowed per game).

“It is very special,” Foolkes said of Zuniga. “You are comfortable back there, and you know what he is capable of. It just makes your job and the whole team’s job that much easier. He is rock solid.

“Defensive, none of them, besides Erick, (started) as far as defense last year. As the season goes on they have been gelling and figuring out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They are putting it together at the right time. Simon (Leblanc) was JV last year, Cade (Gaudet) dressed out for varsity (last year) and got limited field time and Austin (Duncan) and Anthony (Lebleu) were actually strikers last season.”