Southwestern’s Salvador Hernandez (10) and Jac-Cen-Del’s Yuki Casado (27) battle for the ball during the sectional on Saturday. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Southwestern’s Salvador Hernandez (10) and Jac-Cen-Del’s Yuki Casado (27) battle for the ball during the sectional on Saturday. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
OSGOOD — Southwestern had been able to hang tough with Jac-Cen-Del in two previous meetings this year, but with a sectional title on the line, the Eagles showed why they are one of the best teams in the state.

Jac-Cen-Del, ranked fifth in Class A, outshot Southwestern 38-2 overall — including 15-2 on goal — and pulled away for a 4-1 win in the Class A Boys Soccer Sectional on its home field on Saturday.

The game was a far cry from the 2-2 draw the teams played in August or the 3-0 JCD win two weeks ago. But Southwestern coach Seth Shields was still proud of his team's effort.

"It's definitely not the outcome we were hoping for. We came into this game believing that we could beat this team but we knew that it was going to be hard-fought," Shields said. "We felt like if we could play 80 minutes and keep it a low-scoring game, we would have a chance. And we almost did it."

Despite playing nearly the entire game on defense, Southwestern stayed within striking distance throughout the first half. Jac-Cen-Del scored its first goal 14 minutes into the game on a Jacob Jines goal and added a second score in the 34th minute on a Yuki Casado goal.

But two goals was simply two many to overcome, especially considering that Jac-Cen-Del completely shut down Southwestern's offense. Kaden Zellers and Alex Webster came into the game with 19 goals between them on the season, and managed just one shot total.

"We're not much of a play it down the middle kind of team. We like to go down the sidelines, use our speed, and create opportunities on crosses in front of the goals," Shields said. "We weren't able to do that. Everything we tried, Jac was there to stop it."

Jac-Cen-Del (15-3-1) essentially put the game away in the early minutes of the second half in Jines' second goal of the game, then added a fourth for good measure in the 74th minute on a Jordan Meyer score.

Southwestern ended the game on a upbeat when senior goalie Brady McLain got to live out what he called his "Make-A-Wish" moment. With just 30 seconds left in the game, McLain made a stop, then took off with the ball, weaving down the sidelines. Jac-Cen-Del coach Derek Jones instructed his team to let McLain go and the senior put the ball in the net for the Rebels' score. The game ended with McLain and JCD goalie Nathan Hoffman embracing in front of the net.

"He's been bothering me all year to let him do that and I wouldn't let him," Shields said with a smile. "This is his last game and when Derek told his team to let him go, I was OK with it. I expected him to shank it at the end though."

McLain finished the game with 11 saves in goal while Hoffman needed only one. The win title was Jac-Cen-Del's second-straight and fifth in the last eight years.

Southwestern ends the season with a 5-8-5 record and graduates Uriel Mendoza and Caleb Geary as well as McLain.