It took Lansdowne High’s soccer team over 24 minutes to get on the scoreboard, but once the Vikings scored, they didn’t ease up on their way to a 6-0 home victory Tuesday night.
Oscar Madrid Molina scored off a pass from Jose Munoz with under 16 minutes left until halftime and Munoz added a penalty kick score with 2:14 left until intermission for a 2-0 lead.
But, the real fireworks started early in the second half.
Just five minutes into the half, Madrid Molina assisted Munoz and the Vikings led 3-0.
That’s when they unleashed junior Muang Hnai, who scored three goals in a span of 200 seconds.
The first was an unassisted low burner from 20 yards out.
Hnai was assisted by Munoz on the second goal and did his own damage on the third.
It was the first hat trick of his career.
“He is explosive and he’s very quick,” Lansdowne coach George Dunn said. “If he gets open space, it’s hard to keep up with him.”
Hnai appreciated the extra room in the second half that was often provided by the steady play of senior midfielder Ling Har.
“I feel so good because after halftime I got more space and coach said ‘I’m going to score one.’ and I played hard,” Hnai said. “I took a shot and I feel so good. I improved my team.”
Lansdowne remained undefeated (5-0-1), but the scoring drought in the first half concerned Dunn, who watched his squad outshoot the Titans 14-2 in the first half and 27-3 overall.
“We came out flat,” Dunn said. “Guys without the ball were not moving and they played a five-man defensive front which took us some time to figure that out.”
New Town goalie Jared Jones disrupted several Vikings attempts in the first half when he made seven of his 11 saves.
But, the Titans (3-0-1) never got any sustained offense.
Their only threats came on limited breakaways that were thwarted by the stellar Viking defense, led by Edwin Morales Ramos, Willman Quintilla and Sammy Hmung in front of goalie Nick White.
Ronald Morales Ramos and John Sosa also chipped on defense in place of missing stopper Bryan Rios, who was out with an ankle injury.
“Bryan would have got us together earlier because he’s very vocal,” Dunn said.
New Town’s best scoring opportunities came late in the first half and early in the second half.
Moses Mugisha had a header with 10 seconds left in the half that was saved by White and Avery Walker had a high shot over the crossbar from five yards out.
“They are much improved this year,” Dunn said. “They’ve got some athletes out there. Usually our speed can carry us, but they had some guys that could keep up. We just have more guys with foot skills.”
The large cushion allowed Dunn and assistant coach Rob Boutwell to play several reserves.
“The bench played absolutely great,” Boutwell said.
“They’ve got something to prove,” Dunn added. “They want to play and they want to go out there and do something.”
But, the fact the Titans played the home team tough for much of the first half was also a benefit.
“This was a gut check,” Dunn said. “It was like, ‘Okay guys, it’s time to turn it up.’”