Largely bottled up by Bishop LeBlond for an unusual length of time in Friday's match, the high-octane Maryville offense erupted near the mid-way point of the second half.
The Lady Hounds scored three goals within a three-minute span and five over the last 23:40 to break open a close match for a 6-0 win over LeBlond in their toughest test to date this season.
Maryville's five second half goals were scored by five different players and followed a stretch of over 56 minutes in which they tallied only one. The team's 1-0 halftime lead was easily its smallest of the year.
"I told them at halftime, I said our passes were not what they could be," said Maryville head coach Bayo Oludaja. "If you look at the way we played in the first half, it was like it's not the same team that played yesterday. They were coming very close on us and were a little bit physical. We talked about how to handle that and it made a difference. I'm glad they listened and they got it done."
Maryville improved to 6-0 on the year and won for the sixth straight time by at least a five-goal margin.
This was also the team's fifth consecutive shutout.
It came against a team in LeBlond that has played Maryville closer than any other MEC school but Smithville over the last two seasons.
Three of the previous four Maryville/LeBlond matches, including two in the district finals, were decided by a goal.
"I think it tells much about the kind of team we have this year," said Oludaja. "I've always said we've got depth and if you look at the goals, you will see they are spread out. We have people on the bench who came in and they got the job done. This year, if a team thinks they're going to shut down Alyssa (Stiens) and Asthon (Reuter), we have others we can rotate in at different times."
Reuter, a sophomore forward, was the only Hound player with more than one goal in the match.
She scored Maryville's lone first half goal and their second one in the second half, while assisting on two others.
Stiens, senior midfielder Naima Msechu, junior midfielder Angie Meyers and junior forward Aubrey Kimble accounted for Maryville's remaining four goals.
The Hound defense kept a potent LeBlond attack from scoring and rarely even bended throughout the match.
Maryville keeper Shannon Johnson made 11 saves, but none required a high-degree of difficulty.
First match opponent Kansas City Lutheran remains the only team that's scored against Maryville all year.
"All of our defenders work together very well," said Oludaja. "Most of them have been together at least three years. They understand each other very well and the midfield, too. We have been working on a couple different systems so that we can switch things up as the need arises depending on the team we are playing. I think they are beginning to get the handle of it and we're just doing a good job of keeping people out."
Page 2 of 3 - Maryville's defense was especially critical during the first half when the Lady Hounds struggled to score.
Maryville missed a couple early chances to take the lead, and didn't generate many other opportunities until the final 10 minutes of the half. Normally a team that scores three times in the first 10 minutes, this represented Maryville's longest first half drought of the season.
"We knew that LeBlond was going to be tough," said Oludaja. "We didn't take that for granted at all, but it took us too long to crack them. That's something we'll talk more about in practice Monday."
LeBlond had a one-minute stretch near the mid-point of the half where it got off three shots, but two drifted wide and a free kick from Shelby Herner went high.
The Golden Eagles rarely had possession of the ball late in the half as the goal-starved Lady Hounds stayed on the attack.
In the 33rd minute, Stiens collected a through ball and got past the LeBlond defense for a break-away opportunity, but her shot went off the left post.
Less than two minutes later, Stiens atoned for the near miss, stealing the ball from a LeBlond defender and sending a cross into the box that was headed in by Reuter to give Maryville a 1-0 lead with 5:43 left.
"At the beginning of the match, I told her and Ashton not to get stuck in one place," said Oludaja. "If you do that, then you make it easier for them to defend you. You should be willing to roam around and switch. That was exactly what Alyssa did. Usually, she stays in the middle, but that time she went around to the far side and sent it in to Ashton to finish. It was beautiful to see."
Maryville's one-goal advantage stood until halftime and through the first 17 minutes of the second half.
It was around that point when the goal-scoring binge began.
Maryville's second goal originated from a foul by LeBlond on its side of the field, giving Cassie Holtman a free kick.
Holtman angled it into the box to Reuter. The ball deflected off her foot to Stiens for an open one-touch goal that made it 2-0.
A little more than two minutes later, Holtman drove a corner kick into a crowd near the goal.
The ball bounced out to Meyers who sent a shot past the LeBlond keeper to give the Hounds a 3-0 lead.
Maryille's lead grew to 4-0 within a minute as Reuter powered a left-footed shot to the right side of the net for her second goal.
With LeBlond's competitive spirit broken, Maryville scored again in the 63rd minute on a rifled shot from Msechu to the left side of the net.
Page 3 of 3 - Kimble put the finishing touches on a dominant second half with a goal in the final 75 seconds.
"I told them right away that I wanted two goals back-to-back to take the wind out of them," said Oludaja. "That doesn't mean we should relax, but at least it helps us build more confidence continue to take it away from them."
Maryville has a pair of home matches next week with Benton and Kansas City Northeast before beginning a near-month long stretch away from home.
The Lady Hounds won't see LeBlond anymore during the regular season, but stand a good chance of facing them again in districts.
If so, Maryville has to like its chances.
"I think it should give us some confidence, but we have to be cautious we don't go in with any sense of arrogance" said Oludaja. "They fought hard here tonight. There's no doubt about it. They were all over the place, very physical. I wouldn't expect anything less from them the next time we meet. In fact, I told my team you can expect them to come out more feisty. We'll be prepared for them, too."