Maryville head girls soccer coach Bayo Oludaja always implores his team to get off to a fast start, knowing the psychological damage that does to the opposition.
For the second straight match, the Lady Hounds carried out their coaches wishes to perfection.
Three goals from senior Alyssa Stiens and two more from sophomore Ashton Reuter, all within the first 15 minutes, put Thursday's home match with Savannah out of reach quickly.
The Lady Hounds scored twice more in the first half and once in the second half to put the finishing touches on an 8-0 win over their arch-rivals in the first of two regular season meetings.
Maryville improved to 3-0 on the year and increased its scoring differential to 25-2.
This was their second straight shutout of an MEC opponent.
"I tell them they have the first 12 minutes to make things happen," said Oludaja. "I want them to start as soon as the whistle is blown because once we establish that, the shocker is enough to set the pace. That's what I want them to do. Fortunately, we've been able to do that in this game and the last one, too."
Maryville's dynamic forward combo of Stiens and Reuter combined for all eight goals in the match, with each player scoring four. Stiens notched her third straight hat trick of the year by the sixth minute and added a season-best fourth goal in the 24th minute.
Reuter reached a hat trick in the 37th minute and tallied another goal in the 53rd minute.
Her fourth goal was the only one scored in the second half.
Freshman forward Mollie Holtman assisted on the first two goals by Stiens, and older sister Cassie Holtman—a junior midfielder—set up the third one.
Sophomore Maddie Jones, senior keeper Shannon Johnson and sophomore Angie Meyers picked up assists on the team's final three goals. The first two by Reuter were unassisted.
She scored the second one on a rebounded shot from Mollie Holtman that went off the left post.
"I think the one good thing this year is Alyssa and Ashton are both getting good assists from Mollie and Cassie," said Oludaja. "They're beginning to understand one another a lot better now. It's been good to see the dynamics between the four of them and others, too. I hope we can keep that going."
Stiens' fourth goal at the 16:16 mark in the first half put Maryville up 6-0, and Oludaja began substituting freely at that point in an effort to get his younger players varsity experience.
With their starters in and out of the match, the Lady Hounds scored just twice more and Savannah was able to last the entire 80 minutes. The Lady Hounds nearly added a ninth goal in the 78th minute when defender Chelsea Byland, who went in for a cameo at forward, had a shot deflect off the crossbar.
Page 2 of 2 - "I just decided to send people in because if I had kept the same team out there I'm sure it would've probably been over within 15 minutes of the second half," said Oludaja. "We could have very well finished it out, but there was no point in that. We use it as a learning experience. It was good for them to play since we won't have practice tomorrow anyway."
The Lady Hounds return to the pitch Tuesday for a road match against Auburn. They are on the road again Thursday against Lafayette before returning home Apr. 5 to host Bishop LeBlond.
The match with LeBlond was moved up on the schedule from May 1.