ELYRIA — Alex Steindl couldn’t recall ever scoring five goals in a game.
“Yeah, probably is,” he said when asked if it was a career-high total.
Steindl led Elyria Catholic to its second straight win to open the season — a 7-0 non-conference victory over Keystone that was shortened by lightning. The Wildcats lost for the first time in two games.
“It definitely is. It’s a career high for him,” Elyria Catholic coach Jason Kempton said of Steindl. “He’s on pace to have a very good season. He needs this. He’s an amazing young man and one of our captains.
“And with his teammates around him, they’re definitely supporting and giving him those opportunities to score a lot of those goals and he knows it. He tells them ‘I don’t do this without you.’”
“For the first 30 minutes, Keystone had a good defensive line,” Steindl said. “It was pretty hard to break that but after we started moving the ball in the middle better, we got the chances we needed. We got a couple breakaways.”
Keystone’s defense and particularly its goalkeeper Zachary Marsh played well – at least over the first 20 minutes. EC was frustrated at times trying to move the ball on the offensive end and Marsh was making multiple saves to keep it scoreless until junior midfielder Patrick Delaney headed a pass from Records past Marsh for the first goal with just under 20 minutes left in the half.
“Keystone did an amazing job holding us at the top,” Kempton said. “They played the ball very well and moved the ball exceptionally well. They did a very good job at the beginning.”
“We were trying to hold the line in the back,” Keystone coach Kevin Graham said. “We tried to work it up from there. In the second half, we started making those small passes and it started to work for us. We got away from that the first half.”
Once Delaney’s header found the mark, it opened the scoring gates for the Panthers. Steindl booted in a pass from Bova a couple minutes later to make it 2-0 and EC added three more scores before halftime – two from Stendl and one from Jonathan Woodyard, who kicked one over the head of Marsh from about 30 yards away. Steindl’s two scores came with under two minutes left in the half and took the fight out of the Wildcats.
“We sort of put our heads down a little bit,” Graham said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys here but they’ll bounce back.”
With thunder and lightning rolling in from the west, the game was called with 25:17 remaining. Steindl scored twice early in the second half to provide the final count. Both of the Panthers’ wins were shortened inclement conditions.
“We’d like to finish one to show we can finish one out,” Kempton said. “But a win is a win. I don’t know the last time Elyria Catholic was 2-0. Amazing young (coaching) staff pushing these boys and we’re loving it right now.”
“We knew it would be a tough game,” Graham said. “We didn’t play our best and a few things didn’t go our way and (EC) made some nice shots.”
Kempton had special praise for Marsh.
“He’s amazing,” he said. “He’s probably one of the best in the area. He played outstanding.”
Elyria Catholic 7, Keystone 0
Goals: First Half – Patrick Delaney (Assist Jake Records) 20:09. Alex Steindl (Assist Michael Bova) 21:39. Jonathan Woodyard (Unassisted) 28:34. Steindl (Assist Aiden Woodyard) 38:03. Steindl (Assist Asa Kempton) 38:53.
Second Half – Steindl (Assist Andrew Muzilla) 3:55. Steindl (Assist Records) 23:28.
Shots on Goal: Elyria Catholic 23, Keystone 6.
Saves: (K) Zachary Marsh 15. (EC) Bryce Hileman 4.
Corner Kicks: Keystone 1, Elyria Catholic 7.
Penalties: Keystone 6, Elyria Catholic 11.
Yellow Cards: Keystone 2, Elyria Catholic 0. .
Halftime: Elyria Catholic 5-0