RAYMOND — Three goals in eight matches spoiled a hard-fought battle into a blowout as Carlinville defeated the Lincolnwood/Nokomis/Morrisonville (LNM) Lancers 5-0 on Kickin’ for a Cure night at Cavalier Field.
The Cavaliers struck early as senior Levi Yudinsky broke free within the first two minutes, drilling a point-blank shot at Lancer goalkeeper Gabe Armentrout, which he saved.
Yudinsky, Paeton Brown, and Trieton Park continued their assault on LNM’s defense. Fortunately, the quartet comprising of Luke Webb, Reece Lohman, Levi Weir, and Braden Whalen was able to keep the Cavs off the board for the opening ten minutes.
Another near-miss shot came via Yudinsky from near post at nearly ten minutes in, with Armentrout getting an arm up to knock the ball out of play. A corner shot by Carlinville would enter the box, but excellent defensive instincts from the Lancers knocked the ball out of harm’s way.
Yudinsky nailed a goal with less than 15 minutes left in the first half via an assist from Brown to end the deadlock.
LNM had their chance immediately afterward, as Austin Thornton sprinted down the right side of the pitch, drilling a high shot toward the goal. Cavs keeper Will Meyer leapt the last moment to get a hand on what could have been a certain goal.
With under six minutes remaining in the first half, Carlinville hit the back of the net via a low, off-balance shot to the right of Armentrout by Brown.
The Lancers had a few chances late in the first half, most of which came from Thornton, but would end up trailing 2-0 at the half.
Lancers had uphill battle to catch up in second half
The Lancers tried hard to climb back into the game in the second half. However, Meyer and the Cavs turned them away again and again. By the 60th minute, Carlinville had padded their lead with Park carrying most of the workload offensively.
A chip shot by Park with 19:05 remaining in the game extended their lead to 3-0. Park nailed his second goal on a breakaway run five minutes, with the hat trick secured on a broken play with 11:34 remaining. By that point, it was an unachievable feat to come back and win for the Lancers.
That unfortunate reality didn’t keep the Lancers from trying. Lincolnwood tried to break the shutout via a one-timer from Levi Weir to the near post. Unfortunately, a Meyer save kept the shutout from being broken as Carlinville secured their fifteenth win of the season.
Tough loss in Williamsville
Despite an early 2-0 lead against the Williamsville Bullets for their regular-season finale on Thursday, Oct. 7, offensive and defensive coordination by the Bullets resulted in a tie and later a 3-2 win over the Lancers. The win brought the Bullets to a 15-6-1 mark and first in the Sangamo Conference at 4-0.
Lancers prepare for playoff action at Lincolnwood Regional
Despite the recent losses that bring LNM’s regular-season record to 10-7-1, they secured enough wins to be playoff eligible as they host their regional in Raymond at Terry Todt Field.
Eleventh-seed Vandalia and eighth-seed Pana kicked off regional action at the Lincolnwood Regional, where the Panthers dominated the Vandals 6-0.
LNM’s match in the regional comes as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday, Oct. 13 following top seed Carlinville taking on Pana. The fifth-seeded Lancers will take on fourth-seed Teutopolis. The games are at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The winner of Wednesday’s matches will meet for the regional championship on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.