Carroll knew it needed to score first and stay aggressive Wednesday, accomplishing both on its way to a 3-1 win over Northrop in Class 3A boys sectional semifinal play at Carroll.
A year ago, Carroll lost 1-0 to Northrop in sectional play. Earlier in the regular season, they had to overcome a second half deficit to defeat the Bruins 2-1.
The Chargers (14-2-2) avenged that loss in last year's sectional by eliminating the Bruins (11-4-2) on the strength of two goals from junior Peyton Fosnough, who scored just under three minutes into the second half to break open a scoreless match. He put Carroll up 2-0 with 17:55 remaining after a big boot down field from keeper Brohde Eckert, who got an assist.
“I just felt I wasn't playing well enough, so I told myself I was going to get more involved in the second half,” Fosnough said. “I hustled back well but credit to my teammates, they worked their butts off. It shows that we can be a threat from anywhere on the field and anybody on the field has a chance to change the game.”
Carroll got its first opportunity less than a minute into the game when Patryk Olczyk found Fosnough ahead of the pack, but Northrop goalie Alex Hernandez made a kick stop on a bang-bang play. With 33 minutes left in the half, Carroll's Samuel Michael had a shot at goal that sailed high.
Carroll got a good opening in the 27th minute on a free kick from Olczyk that sailed about four yards over the crossbar on a nice curling kick.
With 12:11 to play in the first half, Northrop got its best look in the opening half as Erdwin Quintana made a run through heavy Carroll defense, but his shot attempt was deflected right into the hands of Eckert.
With 5:15 left in the half, the Chargers got their best look on an Olczyk free kick to the header of Timothy LaRue on a cross that went just wide, leading to a scoreless game at the break.
“We felt like it we were in decent shape, we just had to clean up a couple of things,” said Carroll coach Rollie Clements. “We were making too many mistakes, trying to dribble the ball out of the back and getting caught there.”
In the second half, the Chargers stayed aggressive on offense after Fosnough's first goal. Olczyk ripped a strong shot at goal in the 32nd minute that sailed just high of the goal. Less than two minutes later, Michael Frank's cross found Fosnough right at the goal, but the shot attempt was popped almost straight up, bouncing off the crossbar.
“We've had so many matches with these guys, they are just so good. Getting them down early helped a lot. I just thought the guys on both sides had a great effort tonight. It looked like a fun game,” said Clements.
The Bruins scored with nine minutes remaining on a goal from Medard Mikobi.
Carroll put the match out of reach with 3:57 to play as a Fosnough shot ricocheted off the hands of Hernandez in goal to the waiting foot of Nicholas Harding, who made up for an earlier miss, by scoring the third goal.
The win sets up a sectional title match Saturday at Carroll against Bishop Dwenger. The Saints were 3-1 winners earlier in the night over East Noble.
“We aren't carrying the trophy out of here yet. We are halfway to finishing the job, so we still have more work to do this week. We aren't there yet,” Clements said.