The speed of the Durango High School boys soccer side allowed it to pot a couple of early goals.
Then it opened up holes for bombs from distance, through balls and all manner of scoring chances.
DHS opened Southwestern League play with a resounding 9-0 win over Montezuma-Cortez High School on Tuesday at Riverview Sports Complex.
In total, Durango (4-0-1, 1-0-0 SWL) fired 21 shots on goal thanks to strong play on the ball that forced an abundance of Panthers’ turnovers.
Cameron Treeharne opened the scoring a little more than 40 seconds into the contest, sliding a shot into the lower left-hand corner of the net off a feed from Austin Scalf. Treeharne added his second off a turnover in the 10th minute, and he said the biggest key for the Durango offense, and himself personally, was the ability to outrun the Cortez defense to balls in space.
“We were faster than their defenders, and that’s always nice, especially when you know you can outrun somebody when (a teammate) plays a ball,” Treeharne said.
DHS got goals from Seumus McAliney, Chad Patten, Dylan McClain, Cory Munch and Nick Aggeler to end the first half up 7-0, and the Demons’ goals came from all over the pitch – corner kicks, through balls, shots from outside the penalty area and more.
“The boys, it wasn’t pretty, but ... it doesn’t always have to be,” DHS head coack Kenny Wood said. “They grinded out seven goals in the first half. Just the way they got them.”
David Schwantes pushed the lead to 8-0 with a nice chip over the goalkeeper in the 57th minute, and Patten capped the offensive flurry with a goal in the 60th minute.
Despite the lopsided score, there were some areas of concern for the Demons that they’re hoping to fix. One of the foremost appeared to be in the area of communication, and the Panthers (0-2-1, 0-1-0 SWL) nearly took advantage for a pair of goals, including a chance early in the second half that Willy Frownfelter had to steer away from an open net after some miscommunication between the defense and goalkeeper Ben Marvin-Vanderyn.
“We didn’t talk a lot, really at all. It was really sketchy back at defense ... like worried just when you’re sitting there watching it. When we play a better team, they’ll score on those chances,” said Treeharne, son of Sarah and Todd Treeharne.
Wood was on his charges early to keep their shape, even pulling some of the midfielders for a mid-half chat in the first 40 minutes. The message appeared to stick after halftime, allowing DHS to add a couple of more goals and seal a victory that never seemed in doubt.
Improvement in these areas is key heading into Friday’s nonconference contest against St. Pius X, which will travel from Albuquerque to face the Demons at 5 p.m. at Riverview Sports Complex. The Sartans are ranked third in New Mexico 4A soccer, one spot ahead of Farmington, which Durango defeated in overtime earlier this season. The Demons can expect a physical practice Wednesday in order to prepare, Wood said.
“We’re going to have a physical practice,” Wood said. “We’re going to get the boys into some challenges. We’re going to get the boys moving at pace.”