It took 1:33 for the Smith-Cotton soccer team to get on the scoreboard and they did not let up once they did, racing to a 9-0 win over Warrensburg on Monday to open the Class 3, District 13 tournament at Tiger Stadium.
With S-C pressuring in the second minute, Warrensburg conceded a throw-in. Luke Guier took the throw-in, sending it into the middle of the field at the edge of the penalty area for Jordan Lawson who won a scramble for the ball and sent it in for the first goal of the game.
“Just like we’ve done all year, we’re trying to press and play with a high pace and a high level early to see if we can turn them over early and get an early goal,” said Smith-Cotton coach Ethan Weller. “We got a throw-in and that’s something we worked on is using a long throw-in from Luke. We got on the end of it. It wasn’t exactly what it was supposed to look like but it was effective and it went in.”
Lawson struck again in the 15th minute off a long through-ball from Carlos Aguire. Two minutes later Aguire made another run and sent a cross to Brendon Hofheins who struck it home from 25 yards out.
Warrensburg did not have an answer for the speed of Aguire, Guier and Lawson.
“Outside of some pretty good teams, there’s not very many that do,” Weller said. “Those three are hard to handle and any time they’re in the game together, they’re very good at working off the ball with each other and looking opposite field for the opposite runner. Those guys already have their speed built up when a lot of times they’re running on the ball. They are hard to handle. They’re quick. They’re skilled. They are going to give just about anybody a lot of trouble.”
Hofheins added another from long-range in the 34th minute, scoring from 30 yards out to make it 5-0.
That goal came shortly after Alex Esquivel scored his first of two. His second came in the 68th minute after Jonathan Lopez made a move to the right of the Warrensburg keeper, pulling him out of position, and passed it to Esquivel who tapped it in the wide-open net.
Lopez scored in the 38th minute to make it 6-0, fighting his way through the Warrensburg defense and sliding to knock the ball past the keeper.
In the second half, Guier scored on a header off a corner in the 43rd minute and Trey Goodson sent a cross to Aguire for a goal in the 45th minute.
After Aguire’s goal made it 8-0, Weller pulled many of his starters, including goalkeeper Landon Dove. Freshman keeper Colby Edgar finished the game in net and stopped a pair of Warrensburg chances to preserve the shutout.
“He’s not a big kid but when you’re in goal you come out and just try to get as big as you can,” Weller said. “He was big enough to get his body on it and stop two breakaways.”
S-C will face Grain Valley in the district championship game at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Tiger Stadium. Grain Valley beat Marshall 4-0 on Monday in the other semifinal.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles