The Madison Central soccer team got two goals in the first two minutes Monday and never looked back on the way to a 9-0 win over Berea Community (1-1-15) in the first round of the 44th District Tournament.
With the win, the Indians (15-4-1) qualify for next week 11th Region Tournament, the first time they have advanced in three years.
Dylan Dotson and Cameron Young found the net 33 seconds apart inside the first two minutes of the contest.
Dotson picked up his second goal at the 17 minute mark, then Keegan Sullivan and Alzen Isufi added goals in the last five minutes to give the Indians a 5-0 cushion at the half.
“It was a great start,” Central coach Evan Sutherland said. “We executed really good early. We got senior Cameron Young a chance to score a goal, which was very emotional for him. We’ll take it, but we’re concerned about Luc’s (Powell) ankle, so we didn’t come out of it injury free.”
The quick lead gave Sutherland an opportunity to get some tournament experience for many of his younger players as he rotated freely in the game.
That many players getting to play began to take its toll on the Pirates about six minutes into the second half and the Indians found some easy scoring.
Caleb Crutcher put the Indians up 6-0 on a penalty kick at the 53-minute mark.
Trace Hale got in on the scoring action with a goal at the mid-way mark of the second half, then Bryce Fielder and Brendon May tallied goals to round out the scoring.
Sutherland said he was pleased with the play of his youngsters, especially in the second half.
“That’s what we want to see. We played 24 players tonight and we kept getting better as the game went on, so that’s what you want to see at the end of the year,” Sutherland said. “That’s progress. When we’re going that deep into the bench, that shows we’re developing as a team.”
Berea coach Hezekiah Weiss said he liked the way his team continued to battle, but Central’s speed and depth were just too much for them.
“It’s a good sign for next year. In the final 20 minutes I basically played my JV team and they absolutely have grown over the year,” Weiss said. “Those guys have heat. If we played the entire game like we played the last 20 minutes, it would have been a different score. But Central is a very good team and we just couldn’t match their quickness.”
The Pirates lose five seniors, but Weiss said he likes the group he has returning.
“I’m super excited about my team next year. The guys coming off the bench have just been itching to play,” Weiss said. “They want to play. They want to have some fun and they just put everything they’ve got into it.”
Central will take on the winner of tonight’s match-up between Model and Madison Southern in the championship game at 8 p.m. Thursday.