The Class 2A No. 16 Homestead girls soccer team wanted to get off to a quick start in front of a big crowd in a rivalry game.
The plan worked as the Spartans rode the momentum of three early goals to a 7-1 rout of host Canterbury on Saturday in the first game of a girls/boys doubleheader.
In the boys game, Canterbury and Homestead finished tied at 1 on the Cavaliers’ Senior Night.
The Homestead girls held a 3-0 lead within the opening 16 minutes as senior Kelsey Wendlandt scored twice and freshman Lindley Kistler netted the first of her two goals.
That was the goal for us to start (quick), Homestead assistant coach Rick Link said. We knew it would be a big crowd, and there would be a lot of supporters for Homestead and a lot for Canterbury. We knew they would come after us, and if we got up on them early we would be able to control the game.
Link was filling in for Spartans coach Katie Metz, who was absent from the game while on administrative leave.
By the intermission, it was 4-0, with Wendlandt and Kistler getting all four goals.
We knew we had to work hard from the beginning, said Wendlandt, who also had three assists. (Early goals) are pretty important because they really get our momentum going and gets the other team’s confidence down, and it takes off from there.
This was no ordinary match between two solid soccer programs in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 1,000 fans.
We look forward to this every year, and we know it has the biggest crowds, and it is really important to us, so I am glad we came out of it with a win, Wendlandt said.
Homestead improved to 5-0, while Canterbury fell to 2-1.
The Spartans played without senior Emily Bley, who is out for the season with a knee injury. She was on the sidelines with a knee brace.
Also getting goals for Homestead were Allison Link, Isabel Wells and Hannah Dolfuss.
Playing together was a key, Wendlandt said. Every single player put in 100 percent, and it came together in the end, and it showed in the score.
Adding assists for Homestead were Hope Martin and Morgann Williams.
The Spartans used a steady diet of speed and ball control to consistently beat the Cavaliers down the field for scoring opportunities.
The girls did a great job of possession soccer and passing well and being first to the ball, Link said.
Canterbury’s lone goal came from Lexie Kolar.
In the boys game, Class 2A No. 9 Homestead (3-0-1) got a goal from David Rincon in the second half.
The Cavaliers’ Spencer Heller tied the score with 3:43 left with a goal.
Canterbury (3-1-1) is the defending Class A state champion and is tied for third in the latest poll.