Steve Lewis/Durango Herald
Nearly perfect was a nearly perfect way for the Demons to introduce themselves to their home crowd.
In their home opener Tuesday at Riverview Sports Complex, the Durango High School boys soccer team put on a show, pouncing on the Piedra Vista Panthers early and keeping up the pressure until the Demons (2-0-1) had their 7-1 rout in the bag.
“Oh yeah. Nothing like it,” said Zeb Soignier of Durango’s first home-opening victory in head coach Kenny Wood’s three years.
Cameron Treharne started off the scoring clinic for the Demons after hitting the post, then getting called offside on Durango’s first quality scoring chances.
“I need to finish; I need to finish,” Treharne said he was thinking before finally putting in the Demons’ first goal about 15 minutes into play with a slick lob over the Piedra Vista keeper.
Six more Demons went on to score in a game that was a shutout until the final minutes, most of the goals coming on long, pretty passes to space that played to the Demons’ speed up front.
As soon as the DHS players realized the Panthers were playing a high offside trap, the Demons started picking it apart with precision.
“We knew we were faster than they were,” Wood said.
“Our style of play was magnificent,” Soignier said. “We played easy; we played simple; we had a lot of good, one-touch passes.”
Soignier’s goal, which put the Demons up 2-0, was pretty magnificent in its own right, too.
After a cross that left the ball bouncing around in front of the Piedra Vista goal, Durango’s Nick Aggler juggled an anemic shot toward the goal, and Soignier parlayed it into a sharp back heel on the floating ball to punch it into the net.
“I just decided to put something on it, and what do you know?” Soignier said.
Aggler got a goal of his own about 10 minutes later on a spot-on groundball pass from Austin Scalf that Aggler poked into the left corner.
Next, Dylan McClain weaved through three defenders on his lonesome near the goal and threaded the ball through a gap to put Durango up 4-0 before halftime.
“I thought the boys came out right from the start and put the pressure on,” Wood said.
They kept it up in the second half, too, as the Durango bench players started to find their way onto the pitch.
First, Soignier added an assist to his goal with a quick, side-footed pass to Daniel Fallon-Cyr, who rolled himself and the ball over the Panthers’ keeper just a couple of minutes into the second half.
Fallon-Cyr got an assist of sorts about five minutes later when he was pushed down in the Panthers’ box. Ian Bowers took the penalty kick, which he put into the net near shoulder height with no apparent difficulty.
Cory Munch tallied Durango’s final goal on a corner kick header almost 30 minutes into the second half.
If the Demons showed any weaknesses it was a lack of focus in the game’s final minutes with the win well in hand. Until then, the Panthers (1-3-0) had only a handful of quality scoring chances, all of them stifled by DHS goalkeeper Ben Marvin-Vanderyn.
Just before the 40-minute mark of the second half, the Demons were called for a hand ball in the box.
Marvin-Vanderyn saved Joseph Denney’s penalty kick by sprawling to his left, but the Durango defenders weren’t able to keep Denney from putting his rebound into the opposite corner.
“Being down a man and just the goal differential – a little complacency,” Wood said of the last-minute goal, alluding to a contentious red card that left Durango with only 10 players for the game’s final minutes.
Wood said the hand ball never should have happened, anyway, had the defense closed down the Panthers’ offensive charge faster.
In a 2-1 game, that lapse could’ve made a difference, but one last-minute mistake in a big-lead, home-opening blowout left Wood and his boys with plenty to smile about ahead of Thursday’s away game against the defending New Mexico state champion Farmington Scorpions.
“Gosh, all around I just thought it was a good day,” Wood said.