Cavalilers claim regional soccer title, engage in water
By Eric Becker
CARLINVILLE (May 17, 2018) – After playing a regional soccer championship game under warm conditions, who wouldn’t enjoy being doused in cold water?
Carlinville players had briefly doused the coaching staff with water following a 4-0 victory over Litchfield Friday afternoon at Loveless Park to win its own regional.
The coaches responded by interrupting a team photo with the regional plaque by dousing team members with water as well.
It was that kind of afternoon for the Cavies, who scored two early goals and cruised into sectional play for the second straight year.
Carlinville will head to the Decatur Lutheran Sectional on Wednesday afternoon. It will be a 4 p.m. date with Warrensburg-Latham, which blanked St. Teresa 1-0 to win the Meridian Regional on Saturday.
The sectional final will take place on Friday at 4 p.m. Hillsboro plays St. Thomas More in Tuesday’s first sectional semifinal.
For head coach Ashley Hayes and the Cavaliers, the quick start is exactly what they wanted.
Two goals in the first 5:47 of the match got the Cavaliers into the lead, and Litchfield was back trekking the rest of the way.
“They were definitely the key to the game,” Hayes said. “It set the pace of the game and it’s hard to come back from a 2-0 deficit, especially when it’s within the first 10 minutes of the game.”
Taylor Wills assisted on a Skylar Nickel goal just 2:34 into the game. It came off a block where Litchfield was trying to clear the ball but unable to do so.
Just over three minutes later, Nickel launched a shot down field in which Adriann Welte took control of the ball on a breakaway, scoring past the Litchfield keeper to make it 2-0.
“That was our whole game, was to score early,” Hayes said.
Litchfield, without a senior on the roster, tried to keep the game close but the Cavaliers kept pushing.
“They have a lot of talent coming up and have a very young time, and I think they’ll be just fine,” Hayes said. “They are always tough competition.”
Litchfield is coached by Carlinville graduate Dominique Byots, who tried to keep the spirit of her team up early in the contest despite falling behind.
But when Lexi Egelhoff headed in a shot off a Nickel corner kick at 22:40 to make it 3-0, that would set the tone for the rest of the game.
Nickel scored the final goal at 52:46 in the second half, assisted by Egelhoff in front of the net to make it 4-0.
Carlinville outshot Litchfield 23-1 with Sarah DeNeve recording the team’s 14th shutout win of the season. CHS is 15-2-1 on the season heading to sectional play.
The two seniors, Taylor Wills and Lynde Gibbs, won their second straight regional to end the careers.
“They are the anchors of our team,” Hayes said of the seniors. “They are the ones that we rely on, the ones that we look to and we always know we are going to get 110 percent from them no matter what.”