WATERLOO – Carroll's Evan Jester held the ball, motionless, for the first 33 seconds of the DeKalb Sectional semifinal match against Northrop on Wednesday.
The emotional moment was a tribute to Carroll boys soccer coach Rollie Clements, who died this week at the age of 67. He'd coached 33 seasons of Chargers soccer.
But after 33 seconds ticked off the clock, the onslaught began.
Just over four minutes into the game, senior defender Rylan Lochmueller scored from the left side of the net to give the Chargers (13-2-2) the early lead. As time ran out at the end of the match, senior midfielder Jacob Butler ran straight for the Northrop goal as the keeper misplayed a pass back to him, and Butler forced the ball into the net to give Carroll a 9-0 victory.
“It means a lot,” Lochmueller said of the early goal. “It's been a rough few days. Long, emotional, draining few days. But to go out there and get one early, that lifts us up.”
The Bruins (6-6-3) were able to keep the Chargers from increasing their lead until the final five minutes of the first half, when sophomore forward Brayden Macy scored twice within a minute. The first goal was a tap-in from the left side, and the next a laser shot from in front of the net.
A few moments later, Butler scored his first goal of the match. His shot was straight into the wind and appeared to bend back toward the goal and cross just inside the right post to give the Chargers a 4-0 lead heading into halftime.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Macy followed his first shot, which bounced off a Northrop defender, and sank the second into the back of the net for his third goal of the game that put Carroll ahead 5-0. Macy said it was his first hat trick for the Chargers.
“There were some games that he wasn't here for,” Macy said of Clements during his illness. “But we always knew he was going to be here, in our minds.”
Jester scored with 33 minutes to go when the Northrop goalie was caught out of the goal, and the Chargers continued to attack despite several blocks by Bruins defenders.
Senior midfielder William Hull scored about five minutes later, and junior forward Seth Fisher scored with three minutes to go.
The Chargers didn't have much time to prepare for the Bruins, spending most of Tuesday dealing with the news of their coach's passing. But they still were still more effective in dismantling Northrop than in their first meeting in mid-September, when Carroll won 3-1.
“(On Tuesday) the team spent a lot of time together at school, in a separate room; just having quality time together and getting through this together,” Jester said. “And I think that carried over. And we carried those emotions and played our hearts out on the field.”
Snider (10-5-1) beat North Side (7-7-3) 4-3 in overtime in the second semifinal match of the evening at DeKalb.
The Panthers and Chargers will face off in the finals at 7 p.m. Saturday.