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Reid writes own heroic finish for Rochester soccer's sectional crown

Rochester's Jack Reid
Rochester's Jack Reid

ROCHESTER — Rochester’s hopes for a Class 2A supersectional berth may have been Holding Out for a Hero but what Jack Reid came up with, even Jim Steinman couldn’t have written.

Instead of Bonnie Tyler belting out one of her most famous tunes, it was Rochester coach Chad Kutscher singing the praises of his junior reserve after the forward scored just his second goal of the season to give the Rockets a 1-0 win over Champaign Central to capture the Class 2A Rochester Sectional crown on Saturday at the Rochester Elementary School.

Rochester (18-5) will face Troy Triad (22-1-1) in the Class 2A Jacksonville Supersectional at Illinois College’s England Stadium on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The winner will advance to the state semifinals at Hoffman Estates High School on Friday, Nov. 3. Triad beat Belleville Althoff 3-1 to win the Freeburg Sectional title on Friday.

Triad beat Rochester 3-2 on Oct. 2.

In the Class 1A North Mac Supersectional at Virden, Columbia beat Williamsville 1-0 to advance to the state semifinals.

Unlikely hero

Seven players on Rochester’s team had scored multiple goals in the Rockets’ first 22 matches. In the 60th minute, got a rebound of a Lach Sullivan shot and went from right to left past the Central goalkeeper Chris Miller.

“Coach was telling us just to stay on all the rebounds,” Reid said. “When I saw Lach going for the shot, I was just making sure I was going to be there for the rebound, in case anything happened. I was happy I was able to be there and get one for us.”

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Kutscher said his junior has been a lift off the team’s bench lately.

“Throughout the year, he’s had some opportunities and for whatever reason, it wasn’t working,” Kutscher said. “At the end of the year, he’s found another gear. It’s like when he’s in there now, he’s the sparkplug.

“He’s the guy that comes off the bench and he brings another level up top. You get 10, 15 minutes into a game, things kind of come back a little bit and we can put him in and he just cranks it back up again and that’s what he’s been doing. It’s been fantastic.”

The play started on a long throw-in from Adan Nieves to Major Gibson and ended in the back of the net after last touching Reid’s foot.

"(Reid) was just right there,” Kutscher said. “He found himself in a good spot and took a good touch and that’s something that he’s always been able to do.”

Rochester sophomore Reid Loy, who worked the second half in the net, was happy Reid had his best moment in that spot.

“When he comes in like that, it means so much to us — even any goal, but that one meant a lot to us,” Loy said.

Turning back chances

The Maroons (19-4-2) had a couple of chances over the final 20 minutes but the Rockets’ defense came up big each time.

Reid headed a corner kick taken by Central’s Ben Wellens with 17 minutes left then Loy corralled a loose ball after Diego Zarco’s free kick found Wellens with an open look in the 78th minute.

“It’s a tough loss. Obviously in my opinion, we were the better team; it’s just this is literally our fourth game playing on grass and we’re just not used to it,” Central coach Alex Zarco said. “We’ve played on turf all year.

“The other thing is lately, we just haven’t been playing good as a team. Against Springfield (High, a penalty-kick shootout win on Tuesday), we got dominated and somehow we made it out. I told the boys, we need nearly a perfect game for us to win today and they didn’t show up to play. That’s what happens: one mistake in the playoffs and you’re done.”

More: Heartbreaker prevents all-CS8 sectional title game: Rochester wins; Springfield High loses

Zarco was asked if he thought his players would respond after Rochester took the lead. He said unfortunately, he did not.

“To be honest? No. We weren’t playing well,” Zarco said. “This is not the team we are and that’s what happens. If we don’t show up to play, we can’t keep winning games like that. We’ve been lucky this postseason to be honest. If we’re not going to show up to play, this is what’s going to happen.”

Meanwhile, Kutscher said his team did everything he wanted it to do.

“This game plan was talked about for the last three days and the boys executed it perfectly,” Kutscher said.

Contact Ryan Mahan: 788-1546, ryan.mahan@sj-r.com, Twitter.com/RyanMahanSJR.

This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: IHSA boys soccer: Junior Jack Reid in right place at right time for Rochester win