The shots were there in the first half, but they finally made it to the net in the second for Carroll’s No. 7 state-ranked boys soccer team Sept. 16 at Northrop.
The Chargers pulled off a 3-1 come-from-behind win over the Bruins after going scoreless in the first 40 minutes, improving to 9-1-1 on the season.
“Northrop has a very solid defense. You’ve got Salomon (Romero), you’ve got Brandon (Nino Cuevas) — we’ve been playing them for years, so I think going into that it was more like ‘Let’s just get our feet settled.’ We went down 1-0, so we just thought ‘Let’s sit back, let’s observe,’ and moving forward we found their game plan, capitalized and got the win,” Carroll senior Rylan Lochmueller said.
Carroll’s first shot of the game, taken by junior Isaac Timmer, hammered off the crossbar, and despite some good looks throughout the half, the Chargers couldn’t get it past Northrop’s Michael Martinez. The Bruins eventually took the lead off a penalty kick by Nino Cuevas, a senior, with just over 15 minutes left in the first half.
Lochmueller came out in the second half with a shot to the top left of Northrop’s goal, which was blocked by a leaping Martinez. Carroll finally got its first goal 52 minutes into the game, off a penalty kick by defender Connor Kreilach that was crossed in traffic by Evan Jester to Timmer.
Lochmueller had a near-score with 19 minutes left to play, knocking a header just over Northrop’s goal. Six scoreless minutes later, he knocked in a penalty kick that resulted from a collision at the top of the box between Carroll’s Jack Kennedy and Martinez, who was issued a yellow card. Carroll took the lead with just less than 13 minutes left in the game.
“It’s those moments you play for,” Lochmueller said. “You’re tied 1-1, 13 minutes left, you just want to step up and hit it every time, and if I get the opportunity I’m going to do that.”
Kennedy extended the lead with 3:46 left, chasing the ball down the pitch and evading two Northrop defenders to put it in the bottom right of the net.
“Short-term memory, that’s the difference between a good and a great player — just forgetting the last play and moving forward,” Lochmueller said of Carroll’s missed shots before cleaning up on the road. “Isaac Timmer had a mess-up, went back and played a great game. Two of us had a chance and it just didn’t go through, and you forget it, move forward, and that’s what happened.”
After their loss to Carroll, the Bruins dropped to 2-5-2 on the season. Both teams could face each other again in this year’s sectional tournament. Last year, the Chargers defeated Northrop 3-0 at DeKalb for their second title in a row.
“It’s always great beating a sectional team, especially Northrop with such a great program, such a great history,” Lochmueller said. “It’s good to get that one under our belt and give us some confidence moving forward that we can get out there and do it.”