Sals rout Caravel before heading to Colorado

Sals rout Caravel before heading to Colorado

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Sals rout Caravel before heading to Colorado

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Salesianum 7, Caravel 0
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Caravel goalkeeper Jarret Mastro does his best to keep Salesianum's Casey Kurley (22) from scoring.

Caravel goalkeeper Jarret Mastro does his best to keep Salesianum’s Casey Kurley (22) from scoring.

Caravel's Austyn Hamilton (24) tries to keep Salesianum's Aiden Kelly (23) from gaining control of the ball in the Sals' 7-0 win over Caravel on Tuesday.

Caravel’s Austyn Hamilton (24) tries to keep Salesianum’s Aiden Kelly (23) from gaining control of the ball in the Sals’ 7-0 win over Caravel on Tuesday.

Salesianum's Taylor Witherell (7) tallies another point on the board for the Sals in their 7-0 win over Caravel on Tuesday.

Salesianum’s Taylor Witherell (7) tallies another point on the board for the Sals in their 7-0 win over Caravel on Tuesday.

Caravel's James Baxter (10) defends the ball against Salesianum in the Sals' 7-0 win over Caravel on Tuesday.

Caravel’s James Baxter (10) defends the ball against Salesianum in the Sals’ 7-0 win over Caravel on Tuesday.

HOCKESSIN – With an 8 a.m. Thursday flight to Denver on the horizon, it would have been easy for the Salesianum soccer team to be looking ahead on Tuesday.

Not a chance. The Sals were clearly focused on the task.

Sallies cranked out five early goals in a 12-minute span and cruised to an easier-than-expected, 7-0 rout of Caravel at the Hockessin Soccer Club.

Now it’s off to Colorado. The Sals (2-0) — ranked fourth nationally in the latest USA Today/NSCAA boys soccer Super 25 — will meet Fairview High of Boulder, which is ranked fifth nationally, at 4 p.m. Friday. Then Sallies will take on Boulder High, ranked second in Colorado behind Fairview, at 11 a.m. Saturday.

But first, the Sals had to get past a team that gave them fits last year. They passed the test with flying colors.

“It’s still early, so we’re still working on our game,” Sals coach Scott Mosier said. “But certainly, we wanted to make sure we tried to keep the energy up.

“Everybody’s excited about going to Colorado. I’m excited about going to Colorado,” Mosier added. “… So that was a talking point, an emphasis before the game, was to make sure we started fast.”

Brendan Hanrahan rattled a shot off the far post in the fourth minute for the six-time defending state champion Sals, currently ranked No. 1 in Delaware’s Division I. Caravel (0-2), ranked fourth statewide in Division II, couldn’t hold off Sallies much longer.

The Sals consistently found openings after working the ball wide. Cole Bouchard crossed to Gavin Ford for the first goal in the eighth minute. Then Bryce Wallace did the same to set up Hanrahan’s easy score in the 11th minute. Then Ford pounced on a turnover to make it 3-0 two minutes later.

“We saw that the outside back was staying with the striker, so we could find the outside back on the far side really easily,” Ford said. “Everything was open from there.”

Jason Blackwell cleaned up the rebound on Wallace’s shot in the 16th minute. Then Blackwell converted a nice feed from Aidan Kelly five minutes later, and completed the hat trick with an assist from Bryan Hartmann in the 37th minute to make it 6-0.

“They played a 4-1-2-1-2, so they didn’t have any outside mids,” Blackwell said. “We wanted to exploit that and get the ball wide to our outside backs, who had a lot of space.”

It was a different story from last year, when the Sals didn’t score until the 65th minute before pulling away from Caravel 3-0 in their season opener.

“Last year, we waited until the second half to score on them,” Blackwell said. “We wanted to jump on them early, get a few goals in the first half and sit on them in the second half.”

The Sals dusted Sussex Tech 8-2 in their opener last Saturday, giving them 15 goals in two games. Last year’s team needed 10 games to generate that many scores.

“Last year we were good at keeping the ball, which we are again this year,” Mosier said. “But we weren’t able to really get in behind defenses and get in the attacking third like we are this year.

“We’re a year older, I think we’re a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, a little bit cleaner. That’s been a big difference for us.”

Sallies will face a couple of major challenges in Colorado, including the altitude. Both of their opponents’ fields sit at 5,480 feet — more than a mile above sea level. The Sals have had success on trips to Louisville, Ky.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Las Vegas the last three years, but this may be the most difficult journey yet.

“It takes some maturity to fly to Colorado and still perform at a high level,” Mosier said. “It’s not easy to do. … You need to be mature, you need take of yourself, you need to take care of your body.”

His players certainly took care of business Tuesday.

Contact Brad Myers at bmyers@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ

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