Landon School (1-0) started the season off with a bang, with a 6-1 blowout of Bishop McNamara (0-3) on Thursday.
Coach Bill Reed’s squad outshot, outscored and out hustled a Mustang team that could not keep up with the well-oiled machine that was the Bears’ offense.
“We rarely put our guys in positions where we had to go one on one," Reed said. "Or we didn’t put our guys in spots where they had to chase down a long ball. They were rested when the ball got in their feet. We could square up and look for shots or just keep the ball moving as opposed to a kind of hopeful ball down the line and we have to run out and track it.”
Landon junior forward Zach Fingerhut started out the scoring with a goal in the first period. McNamara senior midfielder Ramario Chaplan tied the score at the 32-minute mark but the Bears took a 3-1 lead into halftime and never looked back.
“When you get behind early it is really difficult to dictate how the game is gonna be played out,” said McNamara coach Marty Spain.
The Bears blew game wide open in the second period, while the Mustangs barely sniffed pay dirt. Junior Sean O’Brien gushed about Landon’s defensive stand down the stretch.
“Our back line is extremely strong,” said O’Brien. "It actually all starts with our keeper Walter Spak, who’s really stepped up. He’s built a ton of confidence and it starts back there with his talking and communication, and then it really just pushes up to the back line where we’re so strong. It really just flows on from there to our midfield and up front, so its nice to have a great backline that you can trust on to get the ball up. They really do a great job out there of keeping us in games.”
Junior defenders Seth Kaplow and Willl Olson have also had varsity experience and made Spak’s day a lot easier, only allowing McNamara to take nine shots versus the nearly 22 of Landon. Even with a commanding lead and time winding down, the Bears continued to crash the goal.
“Obviously, that is really important to go down to the very last minute,” said Fingerhut. "It happens all the time. The game might be closer than it was today, so it’s really always important to stay focused and keep your mind on the task at hand, which is to get the victory.”
As the season goes on Fingerhut believes the team has a good foundation overall.
“I think that for our team our team chemistry seems to be really strong this year,” said Fingerhut. “We try to keep things very professional in the way we do everything."