Throw out the records when the postseason starts. At least that is how host Burlington Central must have felt when Hampshire -- after the Rockets had several quality chances misfire----scored on its first shot attempt of the schools' Class 2A soccer regional semifinal Wednesday night on Rocket Hill.
But the Whip-Purs' lead lasted a mere 1 minute, 36 seconds as the Rockets dominated the entire match en route to gaining a regional final date against Kaneland on Saturday morning with a 3-1 win.
The second-seeded Rockets scored 3 unanswered goals in deteriorating weather conditions to end the third-seeded Whips' season at 5-16-2.
The match was called with 11:14 to play when standing water prevented the completion of play as what started as a hard drizzle morphed into a torrential downpour.
The Rockets (17-3-2) played in the nightcap after top-seeded Kaneland dispatched IMSA with 5 first-half goals en route to a 5-1 victory.
"We tried not to let things we couldn't control affect us," said Central senior forward Bryce Warner, who scored the go-ahead goal on a penalty kick late in the first half and clinched the weather-shortened match with another point-blank score midway through the second half.
"We came in with the mindset that we weren't going to let the weather affect us."
Hampshire freshman Michael Boutin scored 16 minutes into the contest after Central could not solve the Whips' net on multiple good looks.
But the sense Central would break through felt palpable as the Rockets mounted yet another scoring threat moments after the Whips' opening goal.
Sure enough, midfielder James Raney easily beat the Whips' keeper after the latter had saved a rocket off the foot of Sean Fitzgerald.
"He got the save, and I got the rebound," Raney said of his equalizer with 21:23 to play before halftime.
Over the course of the next 13 minutes, while Hampshire could muster only a mere shot on net, the Rockets again attacked with abandon.
The wet surface aided the Rockets as several long balls skidded in near perfect fashion for rushing forwards and midfielders.
Warner, with time rapidly starting to become a factor in the opening half, made a mad rush to the Whips' box that paid handsomely when he was illegally tackled.
The tripping foul in the box led to a penalty kick that the senior artfully directed past the Whips' defenseless keeper.
"He's a phenomenal player," Central coach Mike Gecan said of Warner. "He's an unselfish player. I'm sure the other guys on the team would say the same thing."
"Their athleticism took over," said Hampshire coach John Gosling, who plans to appeal to the IHSA to resume the match. "They have height, size and speed. We are average in those areas."
In the opening match, recently anointed all-state midfielder Anthony Parillo scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season to power the Knights' second one-sided defeat of IMSA this season.
Tyler Siebert, Kushtrim Ismali and Jason Biddle added goal for the Knights (14-3-2), while Kazami Brockman prevented the shutout with a second-half goal for the Titans, who closed out their season at 6-14-1.
"We played well in the first half, and then we were able to get our reserves in the second half," Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. "We have got to get (the bench players) some action."