CARBONDALE — Sajad Nasser scored his second hat trick of the season and Jacob Collie scored his first career goal to lead Carbondale to a 10-0 win over Salem in the semifinals of the Carbondale 2A boys soccer regional Tuesday.
"We talked about coming out for the playoffs and getting off on the right foot," said Carbondale coach Jeff Hansen. "You are No. 1 seed on your home field, so we needed to come out to do what we needed to do and get this thing started right."
Carbondale (16-5-1) will play Carterville/Herrin (8-11) in the finals scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Fralish Soccer Complex.
"Chip Lennox does a good job with his team," Hansen said. "We saw them early in the year and came out 5-1, but they are a different team now. We have to come and play on Saturday."
In the second semifinal, Carterville/Herrin beat Effingham, 2-1, on a goal by Daniel Erro with 12:19 remaining in the game.
"The co-op has been in existence for three years and this is their first post-season win, so they are pretty excited about it," Lennox said. "The winning goal was a little bit of a build up from that outside channel. Jake Baumgarte found him and Daniel slipped a player and clinically finished it."
Baumgarte scored Carterville’s first goal 38 seconds into the game, but Effingham scored on a goal by Cooper Jackson with 21.27 remaining to tie the score 1-1 at the half.
Nasser scored the first goal of the game 10:49 into the first half on a header off a crossing pass by Noah Guyton. Eight minutes later, James Oberg put in his own rebound to make it 2-0.
"The first goal was really set for me," Nasser said. "It was a nice effort from Noah giving me the ball, so all I had to do was head it in. I couldn’t miss it."
With 12:39 remaining before halftime, Nasser scored his second goal on a header from almost the same spot off a pass from Josh Payne to give Carbondale a 3-0 lead.
Salem didn’t get its first shot on goal until there was 5:17 left in the first half, and had two more in the next three minutes, but Braulio Ostos made all three saves to keep the score 3-0 at the break.
"They did a nice job in the first half of preventing us some opportunities," Hansen said. "Coach Rowe put in a pretty solid backline and tried to keep us out of a while and did some things we had to make some adjustments for.."
Twenty-four seconds into the second half, Payne scored his 10th goal of the season with the assist going to Guyton for his 14th of the season.
Two minutes and 14 seconds later, Oberg scored his second goal of the game and 15th of the season off a pass from Landon Brzoznowski.
Nasser scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season and third of the game off a pass from Epi Melchor with 32:01 left in the game.
With 27:05 remaining, Salem was called for a foul inside the 18-foot box to give Carbondale a penalty kick. Matthias Schurz missed to the right on the kick, but one of the Salem players was called for being off-sides. On the re-kick, Schurz beat the Wildcat goalkeeper to his left side to up the score to 7-0.
Manny Flores scored his fifth goal unassisted with 7:35 left in the game, and four minutes, later Schurz scored his second goal and 11th of the season off a pass from Will Bruns.
With 1:54 remaining, Salem was called for foul four yards inside the mid-line. Collie set up for the free kick with 50 yards between him and the goal.
"At first I wasn’t going to take a shot, but I saw the goalie was a little bit shorter, so I just decided to take a hit," Collie said. "It looked good in the air and I was hoping it would just creep over the goalie's head and go in. And it did."