By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Carthage, securing its second trip to the soccer semifinals, beat visiting Rolla 2-0 on Saturday in a quarterfinal match of the MSHSAA Class 2 playoffs at the Fair Acres Sports Complex.
“It was a huge win. ... a lot of fun,” Carthage coach Jacob Osborne said Sunday. “It was a total defensive effort. Rolla had been shut out only two or three times all season.
“Neither team had a lot of shots,” Osborne said. “The saves our goalie (Jose Alberto) had to make mainly were off free kicks.
“It was 0-0 at the half and that gave us momentum with the wind at our backs,” Osborne said. “We were playing into the wind that first half and our goal was to get to the half with it 0-0. We really felt good about that halftime score.”
Carthage’s first goal came at the 48-minute mark. Victor Lopez, assisted by Henry Oxlaj, snapped the scoreless tie. The Tigers then collected an own goal with about eight minutes left.
“One of our players crossed the ball and a defender, trying to clear the ball, wound up deflecting it into his goal,” Osborne said.
Osborne said the Tigers, ranked ninth in Class 2, were playing No. 4 Rolla for the first time.
“They liked to rely on their size and free kicks,” Osborne said.
Carthage, 21-8, will face seventh-ranked St. Louis Lutheran South (22-5-1) at 1 p.m. Friday in the second semifinal at Blue Springs High School. The 11 a.m. semifinal is Smithville (23-3) vs. St. Louis Dominic (20-6).
The championship on Saturday will be settled at noon. The third-place match is set for 10 a.m.
Carthage, in 2004, lost 3-1 to Affton for third place in Class 2.