Goals had been hard to come by for the Olentangy Orange boys soccer team, but they were plentiful in the Pioneers’ 5-0 victory over visiting Big Walnut Tuesday night in Lewis Center.
“With such a young team and such an inexperienced team, we talk about the process of getting better,” Pioneers coach Scott Bryant said. “It’s hard to talk about getting better when they don’t see the results on the scoreboard. So, hopefully this is another building block.”
Grant Simon bobbed and weaved through the defense before veering left and sending a laser past BW goalie Michael Kline with 29:15 remaining in the opening half.
“I think it’s a big confidence builder for us,” Simon said. “I think we know now that we can score goals.”
Simon kept the pressure on for the Pioneers (1-2), but Kline dove to his right to make a save about a minute later.
“(Simon’s) a bulldog out there … he plays kind of like a linebacker,” Bryant said. “He runs hard and he’s not afraid to get in the mix. He’s not afraid to shoot either — that’s one of the things we like about him is that he’ll shoot from anywhere.”
The Orange rapid fire wasn’t done. Brian Juttner led Ray Masters with a soft touch and Masters sent it in to push Orange to a 2-0 lead with 26:29 left in the first half.
“I think we made more runs behind the defense,” Simon said. “With the three back, it was much harder for (BW).”
The Pioneers, in just 12 and a half minutes, tied their total output from their two previous games — one of which was an own goal.
Matt Kaschak had five shot attempts early in the second half and finally netted one off a drop pass from Simon to push the Orange lead to 3-0 with 23:15 left.
Jeffrey Vu and Zach Stiteler rounded out the scoring for the Pioneers, whose six goals have been scored by six different players this season.
Kline made eight saves in goal to lead the Eagles (1-3) and Jacob Wilke had a pair of saves in relief.
“Every time we’ve hit adversity this year, we just haven’t handled it quite as well as we handled it last year,” BW coach Tyler DeLorenzo said. “I think that’s the biggest thing with us this year. On paper, none of the games we’ve played so far have had any noticeable difference (in talent).”
Alex Beck had three saves in relief of Nick Cutler, who finished with one save for Orange.
The Pioneers are back it Thursday night at 7:15 when they host non-league foe Dublin Coffman. Meanwhile, the Eagles have a week off until they host Westerville Central in non-league action next Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.