Soccer Cavaliers lose to top-seeded Raiders, fall one win short of Sectional

Soccer Cavaliers lose to top-seeded Raiders, fall one

Quincy Notre Dame wins 20th regional championship in school history

By Jackson Wilson

An upset against fourth-seeded Pleasant Plains days prior earned six-seeded Carlinville a berth in Friday’s regional championship soccer match against the sub-sectional’s top seed, Quincy Notre Dame. Even though they were on their home turf, the Cavaliers knew that they were going to have their hands full. Carlinville head coach Tim Johnson wasn’t planning on ending the season with a 7-0 loss, but he was very proud of what was otherwise a great season and playoff run as he bid farewell to his 12 seniors.

“Not many teams get to end their season on a win, and we knew this day would come at some point. We didn’t want it to come, but this group of seniors was like the turning point of our program. They helped guide us to the next level and they are helping prepare our younger guys to go on even further to the next level. We’re very proud of what they did this year,” Johnson said.

The matchup itself was already going to be a major challenge, but the task was made even more difficult for the Cavies due to cold and rainy weather conditions. On the other side, the visiting Raiders didn’t let Mother Nature interfere with their offensive attack and gave a red-hot Cavalier defense an immediate wake up call.

Just two minutes into the game, Quincy Notre Dame was on the scoreboard. Colby Kapp became the first player since Oct. 1 to get a regulation shot through the armor of Carlinville goalie Andrew DeNeve. Four minutes later, Kapp found the back of the net again thanks to great ball movement and an assist from Peyton Stegeman. With a 2-0 lead, the Raider defense wasn’t going to let the Cavaliers hang around. The Carlinville offense was immediately padlocked from the opening whistle, so much so that it was nearly impossible to get the ball past midfield. The Raiders used this momentum to their advantage. Mitchell Murphy extended the lead to 3-0 off a beautiful pass from Sam Nudo with just over 31 minutes remaining in the opening half.

Quincy Notre Dame was hit with the match’s first penalty in the tenth minute, which allowed Carlinville to set up its first scoring opportunity of the afternoon. QND goalie Griffin Kirn showed great hustle by sprinting to the front of the goal box and picking up the ball before any damage could be done. After a couple of saves from Kirn, the Raiders picked up another penalty at midfield. The Cavaliers struggled to keep control of the ball against the Raiders’ defensive pressure and couldn’t take advantage. With 24:21 to go in the half, Kapp cashed in off a Carlinville turnover and ripped another shot past DeNeve. Kapp already had three goals in just 15 minutes of play. The Raiders had a 4-0 lead.

“Colby came out and he was on fire. He was in the right place at the right time and making some nice runs off the ball. Everyone was finding him and putting him in good chances to slide it in,” said Quincy Notre Dame head coach Greg Reis.

The game was not going well for the Cavaliers and it was only getting worse. The defense was able to deflect several Raider shots aside, but a foul in the 18th minute set up a successful penalty kick goal by Mitchell Murphy. DeNeve slipped and fell on the wet grass during the save attempt. Murphy wasn’t done yet. With 16:45 to go in the half, he struck again for his second goal in as many minutes.

With a 6-0 lead under their belt and the regional championship celebration in sight, the Raiders had an opportunity to shorten the wait by 20 minutes in the second half. The Quincy Notre Dame offense continued to punish a flustered Carlinville defense and didn’t waste any time getting the final nail in the coffin. With 37:47 remaining in the game, Murphy found the back of the net for a fourth and final time. A 7-0 lead put the Illinois High School Association mercy rule into effect. 17 minutes later, the Raiders were headed to the Sectional. The dynamic senior duo of Kapp and Murphy was responsible for scoring all seven goals in the game. The Raiders’ defense finished the sub-sectional regional tournament with back-to-back shutouts, with the first coming against Macomb (2-0) in the semifinal match on Oct. 9.

“This group is very hard to identify. I’m not sure they have a weak spot in their lineup. We knew we were going to have a shot tonight. Unfortunately, they built some momentum right at the beginning with that early goal,” Johnson said in respect to QND. “They took that momentum and they were putting on a clinic finishing tonight. I’d say more than half of their goals were ‘tip your cap’ unstoppable.”

Quincy Notre Dame is now 16-5-2 on the year and will advance to the Raymond Lincolnwood Sectional to take on Rosamond Faith Bible Christian Academy at 7 p.m. on Oct. 16. Despite winning their 20th regional championship in school history, the Raiders are far from satisfied. “Obviously we’ve had a decent season, but our ultimate goal of the postseason is to see if we can play another seven games total,” Reis said.

Carlinville finishes the 2018 season with a record of 16-5-1. Prior to Friday’s defeat, they rolled past North Mac 4-0 in a regional play-in game on Oct. 6 and upset Pleasant Plains with a 3-2 penalty kick shootout victory in the semifinal match on Oct. 9.

Matt Schmidt kicks a goal kick. Photo by Cory Walton.