Schmidt, soccer Cavaliers shut down Vandals
Carlinville finishes 8-0 in the South Central Conference
By Jackson Wilson
With head coach Tim Johnson absent from the sidelines, the Carlinville soccer seniors took the field at Loveless Park for the final time in their regular season careers. The Cavaliers cruised to a 10-0 victory over the Vandalia Vandals and avenged a tough 3-2 loss that they had suffered at Raymond the previous night.
Matt Schmidt was the star of the game for the Cavaliers, scoring three goals and picking up four assists on his Senior Night. “I think we expect that kind of performance from Matt because we know what he is capable of, we see it in practice every day, and we saw that last season and this season as well. Matt is an unselfish guy who wants what’s best for the team and he makes a big difference as far as facilitating for everyone else as well,” said Carlinville assistant coach Jon Reid.
The Cavaliers missed out on a few scoring opportunities early in the game. Trey Gall had a chance to put the Cavies up after just 75 seconds but launched the ball over the crossbar. Three minutes later, Tristen Burns had an open window in the right corner of the net but couldn’t center his shot. As a result, the ball ricocheted off the corner of his foot and just wide of the goalpost.
In the ninth minute, the Cavaliers were hit with a couple of penalties that gave the Vandals a penalty kick outside the goal box. The Cavies’ defense blocked the shot immediately and denied the Vandals an early scoring chance.
Four minutes later, the Vandals committed a turnover near midfield which triggered a Cavalier fast break. Matt Schmidt would tally the game’s first goal off a beautiful pass from Nate Burns, giving Carlinville a 1-0 lead with 26:36 to go in the first half. Just seconds after the opening goal, Vandalia paid the price on a weak in-bound pass and turned the ball over again. Trey Gall swooped in for the interception and kicked the ball right into the goal before the Vandalia defense could do anything to stop him.
All the momentum was now on Carlinville’s side, 2-0. Carlinville freshman Levi Yudinsky checked into the game and found the back of the net for his first of three goals on the night, making it 3-0 with 21:47 to go in the half. Both teams were held scoreless until the 2:35 mark, but the Cavies were still getting the ball to the net and creating scoring opportunities at will. The same couldn’t be said for the Vandals. They didn’t get a single shot on goal for the entire game.
Eventually, the Carlinville offense would prove to be too much for the Vandalia defense to handle. The Cavaliers would strike for three goals over a span of 28 seconds to go up 6-0 heading into the halftime break.
The Cavaliers continued to put the pedal to the metal in the second half. With 35 minutes to go, Matt Schmidt blasted another kick into the net to make it 7-0. 20 minutes were then taken off the clock by via of the mercy rule. The Cavies put the icing on the cake with three more goals in the final 15 minutes of the game.
The Carlinville Cavaliers have won an outright conference title and are 13-4-1 overall. Loveless Park has been selected as one of the hosts for the 2018 Illinois High School Association 1A Regionals. The Cavaliers will begin their postseason journey against the North Mac Panthers in a highly anticipated rematch on Saturday at 10 a.m. These two teams faced each other back on Sept. 29, with the game ending in a tie.
Tucker Jones helps to bring the Cavies a 10-0 win against Vandalia during the team’s senior night on Oct. 2 at Loveless Park.