It was all about getting off to a good start for the Kellenberg boys soccer team on Saturday morning.
Setting a blistering pace, the Firebirds scored three goals in a seven-minute span, less than 15 minutes into the game, en route to a 4-0 victory over St. Dominic in a CHSAA matchup.
"To be able to get those three goals in, and then eventually get the players in that might not see the field as much, that’s always great," said senior striker Jack Quinlan, who finished with a pair of goals. "We really played great as a team."
Quinlan got the offensive outburst started, nearly eight minutes into the first half, taking a pass from Nicholas Arcabasso and outrunning the defense to get Kellenberg on the board. He followed up less than four minutes later, this time on an assist from Giancarlo Coppola, giving the Firebirds a 2-0 lead with 33:21 remaining in the first half.
"It’s all about getting behind the defense, putting the ball in the back of the net," Quinlan said.
Senior forward Jared Vignola rounded out the early-game goals, scoring with 30:19 left in the frame to make it 3-0. And while the scoring came quickly, it was more than enough to spark the Firebirds’ confidence, which Vignola said was "through the roof."
"From the people in the back, up to the front, it’s non-stop talking, knowing where someone is," he added. "It definitely helps us as a team."
Nursing the three-goal cushion, the Firebirds (3-0-1) settled into their game, stretching the field and spreading the ball out. The strong possession kept St. Dominic (0-2) from finding much of a rhythm as Kellenberg allowed just two shots on goal.
"The junior and senior class are really starting to jell, hopefully reaching our peak and our stride when it counts," coach William Masiulis said. "It was a fun game, the boys played really well."
Junior Julian Castillo notched the final goal of the game, scoring with 29:34 in the second half.
Despite the loss, senior goalie John Aivaliotis still provided a bright spot for St. Dominic, racking up 13 saves, including a handful of point-blank stops.
With their sights set on a championship run this season, and their confidence growing with every win, the Firebirds don't want to change too much going forward. Instead, Vignola said Kellenberg needs to keep it simple and "continue what we’re doing."
"Put goals in the back of the net and stop [the other team] from scoring," Vignola said. "As much as we can do to go to the championship, that’s what we’re going to keep doing."