Despite having lost almost an entire team to graduation, the Cape Coral Seahawks appear to be quickly reloading after handing Ida Baker a 6-0 boys' soccer defeat Thursday night at Bulldogs Stadium.
With only three players on the field with more than one year of varsity experience, Seahawks seniors Oscar Camacho and Juan David Cano scored the first three goals in 18 minutes to effectively seal their third victory of the season.
"Some nights goals just happen," said Seahawks coach Aldo Nardiello. "This was just one of those games that happens in soccer. We just happened to connect for some early goals and that is tough to come back from."
Camacho broke the scoring ice at the 5 1/2-minute mark, gathering up a rebound off a defender at close range and burying it in the net.
Ten minutes later, Cano converted a penalty kick after freshman Gianni Cognata was taken down inside the 18-yard box and left the game with a knee injury.
"It always helps when you score on a PK," said Nardiello. "It boosts your confidence."
Cano added his second goal of the game at the 18-minute mark, taking a pass from freshman Jonathan Jimenez in front of the net for the 3-0 lead.
Freshman Camillo Avendano settled a long free kick ball from Cano on the sideline and drilled the easy goal at the far post to make it 4-0 at halftime. Cano finished with two goals and three assists.
"We are not six goals better than Baker," said Nardiello. "Our keeper (Alex Collazo) made a couple of key saves before the half that would have gotten Baker back in the game."
Collazo finished with five saves and Austin Lachmann saved four in the second half. Baker goalkeeper Trey Crispin wound up with seven saves.
"Cape Coral played really well," said Bulldogs coach Scott Wills. "They came out focused. We are young and have a lot to work on. We had trouble working through the middle to set up anything on offense."
Despite the sore knee, Cognata returned briefly in the second half and scored the Seahawks' fifth goal barely 2 1/2 minutes in. He had scored three goals in each of the team's first two matches.
Elijah Vega added the final goal in the middle of the second half.
The Bulldogs (1-1) host Lehigh on Monday while the Seahawks (3-0) host South Fort Myers on Tuesday.
Mariner 2, Riverdale 1: Isaiah Romano and Sean Garlan scored goals, one in each half, to guide Mariner to victory Thursday at Riverdale.
Josh Teeter and Steven Schwab were credited with the assists and goalkeeper Alex Trujillo had three saves to preserve the victory.
The Tritons (2-1) host Island Coast on Tuesday.
Ida Baker 9, Cape Coral 1: Monique Elliott delivered four goals to lead Ida Baker to victory Thursday at Cape Coral, the Bulldogs' second win over the Seahawks in two weeks.
Five players tacked on one goal apiece for the Bulldogs - Syniah Clark, Marcela Montoya, Shannon Pearl, Alexsys Vargas and Amber Hutchison.
The Seahawks' goal came in the first half trailing 3-0 at the time.
The Bulldogs (4-0) host Venice Friday at 5 p.m.
Riverdale 2, Mariner 2: Holly Fritz and Alejandra Muro-Solis knocked in goals Thursday night as Mariner had to settle for a tie with Riverdale.
Goalkeeper Sam Wolfe made eight saves for the Tritons (0-2-2), who host Bishop Verot on Monday.
North Fort Myers 7, Island Coast 0: Darian Leschewski and Melinda Lukas combined for five goals to lead North Fort Myers to a shutout victory Thursday night over Island Coast.
Leschewski had three of the five goals while Miranda Lukas and Megan Richards added one goal apiece.
The Red Knights (4-0), who allowed just one shot on goal, travel to Lemon Bay on Tuesday.