Gautreau, soccer end losing streak

Published 9:28 am Thursday, September 7, 2017

What Davie’s varsity soccer team hoped would be a breakthrough win turned when visiting East Rowan scored the final goal of the first half and the first goal of the second half.

The War Eagles were on their heels. Was another spirit-crushing loss on the way?

After 26 consecutive losses, something changed. The War Eagles didn’t back down from the challenge. They rallied for a joyous 5-4 victory on Aug. 28.

The monkey is off their back. They celebrated the first win since Oct. 20, 2015, when they beat North Davidson in a shootout.

“Our guys  were super hyped,” first-year coach Andrew Davis said. “And that’s the first win at the new stadium. I said: ‘I want you to remember this feeling. This is your first win in a long time.’”

Davie, getting a hat trick from senior Hudson Gautreau and two goals from sophomore Adrian Romero, improved to 1-3 in nonconference play. The Mustangs fell to 1-3 with their third loss in a row.

East opened the scoring at 13 minutes. Romero, who did not score during the 0-3 start in which Davie was held to six goals, sparked hope with a tying goal at 28 minutes. Lo and behold, Romero scored again less than two minutes later. Junior Coby Roberts assisted both as Davie grabbed the lead.

“Our guys got so hyped,” Davis said. “This is something they’ve worked for and they’ve seen their progress.”

It was an emotional roller coaster. East tied it before halftime and surged ahead in the second half. Davie wobbled but wouldn’t fall, mostly because Gautreau turned electric.

The senior tied it at 3 with an assist from junior Kevin Araniva. “Kevin played a straight ball through the middle,” Davis said. “It was an awesome play.”

Gautreau put Davie in front, 4-3, with an assist from freshman Luke Stillson. “Luke was playing center defensive mid,” Davis said. “It was a nice assist.”

East was called for a handball in the box, and Gautreau drained the penalty kick to give Davie a 5-3 cushion with 7:33 to play. Gautreau came out of nowhere after scoring one goal during a winless 2016 and zero in the first three games of ‘17.

East was fouled in the box and converted the penalty kick to make it 5-4. But only a minute remained and Davie had washed away 26 games’ worth of heartache.

“We’re going to make a mark this year, and then we’re going to keep growing from there,” Davis said.

Even though East scored enough to win a lot of games, some of Davie’s heroics came from defensive guys like seniors Parker Froelich, John Ellis and Bryce Clary and juniors Aidan McCartney, Micah Little and Reece Kelley.

“Our defense did exceptionally well,” he said. “They really played as a team. Aidan was great at clearing the ball out.”

Davis said Froelich, a center defensive mid, did a stellar job after recovering from an injury to make his season debut.

“He got a lot of good minutes,” Davis said. “He did really well. He played a lot of through balls. He played a lot of balls to the corner. Even after the injury, he never gave up. He gave 120 percent the whole time. He was focussed. He became more of a leader than I think he’s ever been.”

Senior Sam Peterson and sophomore Chris Ferger split time at keeper in both halves. Peterson collected 13 saves. Ferger had five, including two in difficult one-on-one situations.

Notes: Davie mustered only 10 goals in 2016. It scored half that many in 80 minutes. … The goals were the most in 74 games, dating to a 5-2 win at Parkland in 2013. … Gautreau delivered the first hat trick in 42 games. Mauricio Carrillo had the last one in a 3-1, season-opening win over West Rowan in 2015.


Although Davie lost 6-1 at Forbush on Aug. 31, it was not a total loss.

Davie was able to punch in the first goal the Falcons have allowed in five games. It was the first goal of the game and it came in senior Thomas Marks’ season debut. Marks’ first career goal was assisted by Gautreau. Now eight different War Eagles have scored in five games.

Forbush countered, but it was 2-1 at the half and Davie was right there against an unbeaten opponent.

“Froelich was the player of the game again in the middle,” Davis said. I saw amazing stuff from Stillson. Everything was going well and the guys were doing awesome. It was a true team in the first half. That first half was the best I have seen in my career at Davie.”

In the second half, though, the 7-0 Falcons remembered who they were, and Davie (1-4) fell on its hind end. Davie lost to Forbush 4-0 last year and is 1-6-1 over eight meetings.

“I believe the second half Forbush just came out strong with lots of pressure and shifting to change the tempo, and we just couldn’t get it back,” Davis said. “We just fell apart.”