It seemed that the fifth-ranked McCallie soccer team needed a wake-up call in the first round of the Division II-AA state playoffs Friday. Baylor's Sam Williams provided that with a goal five minutes into the contest.
The Blue Tornado responded to his early goal by scoring five in a row -- including three in a 20-minute span in the first half -- and advancing to the quarterfinals with a 5-2 win.
McCallie (12-3-3) will travel to second-ranked Montgomery Bell Academy (9-3-1) next week.
Arturo Rocha had two goals and an assist for McCallie, with Drake Rustand, Garrett Hicks and Sterling DeLapp adding the other goals. That was the Tornado's biggest scoring output of the season.
"Scoring goals makes my job a little less stressful," coach Tony Meyers joked.
It helped that the Red Raiders (7-10-1) were without starting keeper Will Thoni, who couldn't play due to illness. Thoni spent most of Thursday night in the Baylor infirmary.
"He's such a big part of our team and such a presence in the box," Baylor coach Curtis Blair said.
Freshman Aaron Hamby filled in and recorded four saves.
McCallie's midfield and defense controlled large portions of the first half, when the Tornado dominated possession and kept the ball away from the dangerous Williams.
"We didn't want the guys to stay flat," Meyers said. "We really worked on our communication from the goalkeeper up, and from that standpoint I was pleased with our team defensive effort."
Rocha scored first for the Tornado, taking a pass from Angel Cruz and finishing a shot from the left side. Hicks then gave his team the lead, firing a shot from outside the 18 despite being held down from behind.
Rustand pushed the lead to 3-1 when he headed a cross from Tyler Keys.
In the second half, Rocha added a goal on a penalty kick then fed DeLapp for a goal.
Williams finished the game's scoring when he scored on a penalty kick after Julian Baker was fouled in the box.
"I don't know if we started in a fog or a funk," Meyers said. "We decided to let them play and work through it. We thought it was just a matter of when; then it was like, 'Let's do it again,' and it evolved from that."
Said Blair: "We've been through so much adversity this year. We did the best with what we had tonight.
"McCallie played well and finished the chances they had. I hope they can go on the road and bring some hardware back to Chattanooga."