By GREG GULAS
STRUTHERS -- Two goals each by Scott Blasko, Kyle Buxman and Alecko Frangopoulos, combined with a stingy Cardinal defense that allowed just two shots all game, lifted Cardinal Mooney High to an 8-0 victory over Warren JFK in a boys soccer game Thursday night at the Valley Sports Complex.
The Cardinals improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Steel Valley Conference, while the Eagles fell to 1-3-1, 0-2.
"It's the beginning of the year and we're in transition as we try to replace our senior class from a year ago," Mooney coach Joe DeMay said. "We're starting to click and finding out rather quickly that we can rely on several players who can put the ball in the back of the net.
"I am pleased with our overall play, but our goal is to peak in November and not right now. We still have some things that we have to work on and that pleases me right now. I don't want this to be our finished product just yet."
Blasko, a prolific scorer since his youth soccer days at St. Dominic's School, got the initial Cardinals goal at 22:56 of the opening half, and Buxman made it 2-0 with his first score at the 18:39 mark.
Blasko's second goal, just 48 seconds later, increased the Cardinals' lead to 3-0, and when Tommie McBride added his only score of the game at 9:42, Mooney was ahead 4-0 at halftime.
The Cardinals held a 25-1 shots (15 on goal) advantage at halftime, the lone shot for the Eagles coming at the 28:42 mark.
Words not necessary
"What is there for me to say? There's a reason why Cardinal Mooney won the state title two years ago and finished runners-up last season, and you saw that reason tonight," JFK coach Steve Bournias said.
"Our goalie, Ron Nickell, was excellent in goal for us despite the final score. We are a young team with only four seniors so it's a rebuilding year for us."
DeMay was equally impressed with Nickell's work in goal.
"He [Nickell] did an excellent job in goal for them tonight, especially in the first half," DeMay said. "He kept them in the game in the opening half. He had an excellent game against us tonight despite the score and shot disparity."
It was the Frangopoulos and Buxman show after intermission as Buxman assisted Frangopoulos on his two goals (36:12 and 29:45), Frangopoulos returning the favor on Buxman's second tally of the night at 31:35.
The Cardinals' final score came at 25:15 of the final half when JFK deflected a Cardinal shot into their own net.
Third win in row
The victory was the Cardinals' third in a row and their second shutout of the season. They've outscored their opponents 17-4 in five outings this season.
Cardinal Mooney held a 30-0 shots on goal advantage, taking 46 total attempts to just two for the Eagles.