Dane Cessac (left) dribbles past a Leesville defender and then kicks the ball into the net to score his third goal of the match.
Hat Trick Time: Cessac scores three goals for Patriots
LEROY - North Vermilion senior Dane Cessac is not one to brag about his accomplishments.
Cessac is North Vermilion’s leading scorer on the soccer team with 23 goals. On Tuesday, in the second round of the Division III playoffs, Cessac had a hat trick against Leesville.
A hat trick in soccer is scoring three goals in one game. This was not Cessac’s first hat trick in his high school career.
“It started it out a little slow,” Cessac said. “We were kind of shaky at the beginning, and then we finally settled down and started working together, and then it started coming together. Just executed, three goals. I was feeling pretty good. Toward the end, I caught a couple of cramps. We came out, we did what we wanted to. We didn’t play as well as we liked, but we executed well.”
Cessac scored two goals in the first half, including one that ricocheted off a Leesville player right before the first half ended.
He iced the match when he dribbled downfield and then punched it in at the 32:26 mark in the second half.
“We definitely thought it’d be a little easier than it was,” Cessac said. “We came out, took care of business, and we’re on to the next round. We’re going to have to work a little bit better than we did tonight. The next opponent is definitely going to be tougher than this one. We have to come out, play together, talk. The chemistry’s there, and we have talent. We’ve just got to come out and play.”
Going up 4-0, the Patriots began to relax.
“Our goal is always to try to get a big lead and then let our junior varsity come in,” said Cessac.
The junior varsity squad did make it into the match around the five-minute mark left to play.
Patriot head coach Nick Gigliotti spoke highly of Cessac earlier in the season.
“(Cessac) was an all-state forward last year and is every bit as good as last year,” Gigliotti said in a newspaper interview in the Advocate. “He’s been a captain since his junior year and is a leader on and off the field. He’s got an ability to score and has a game IQ above most players. Teams have marked him with one or two players, and he’s still able to score. He’s been monumental and can bring energy to the field, and the players feed off that.”
Next up for the Patriots will be a quarterfinals matchup between the winner of No. 5 E.D. White and No. 12 Hannan, and that will happen next week, depending on the weather.