OXFORD -- West Lafayette senior Brian Anderson wondered Wednesday night if he was prepared to assume the role of hero.
Having tied the Class A Benton Central Sectional boys soccer semifinal against Carroll at 2 with 6:15 remaining in regulation, Anderson was called upon to win it -- and did -- in a penalty-kick setting.
After two seven-minute overtime sessions produced no scoring, eachteam made four penalty kicks in five attempts to force sudden-death penalty kicks.
When Carroll keeper Jeremy Hayes was denied by WL goalie Gaurav Mittal, all eyes were on Anderson.
"Right when I was walking up to the ball, the referee turned to me and said, 'Hey, it's sudden death,' " Anderson said. "Then it hit me that this penalty kick was going to be the most important shot I've ever taken in my life.
"That was only the second penalty kick I've ever taken. I had done it once when I was 11 years old in a TippCo (youth) game. I don't take them that often, but I knew I had to help our team in it any way I can. I was confident ... no doubt in my mind. I knew I could hit it."
Carroll (13-2-2) got first-half goals from Tim Ruby and Elliott Packard and led 2-1 with just more than six minutes remaining when Anderson came through in the clutch for the first time Wednesday night.
"We couldn't put passes together," Anderson said. "We weren't playing well as a team. Finally, I just got the ball from one of the defenders on the outside and just shot it.
"I was frustrated, but that ball just went right over the goalie's head. We did it, and that's what counts."
West Lafayette (9-6-1) now will play Hoosier Conference rival Central Catholic (8-8-1) in Saturday's sectional championship.
The Knights got goals from three sophomores and two juniors, and rode the stellar goalkeeping of senior Wiley Lodde to victory.
An avid New York Yankees fan, Lodde was in a great mood Wednesday after the Yankees tied their playoff series with Detroit at two games each with a 10-1 victory Tuesday night.
"We had to come out focused, because in all actuality, this is the important game," Lodde said of beating BC. "We had to win this game to get to the championship game. We were focused and played very hard."
Lodde enjoyed CC's dominating victory.
"Throughout the year, I'm the one doing a lot of work, so it was fun tonight to sit back, watch the game and help direct traffic," Lodde said.
"Now we're playing for a sectional championship, which is a dream come true."
Jacob Thomas, Ben Page and Nick Thompson each scored during the first 15 minutes to give CC a 3-0 lead.
"Our message all week was to focus on this game," CC coach Billy Hall said. "We went out there and took care of business. We made some mistakes early in the year when we overlooked some people that we probably should have beaten.
"We've done a lot to focus on our priorities. We made a point to come out tonight and knock them out flat, and we got three goals early. We played hard and fast right off the bat. Now we have to focus on keeping that level throughout the whole game."