KNOX — Amid chilly and dreary conditions Thursday evening, the Punxsy Chucks soccer team travelled to Knox to take on the Keystone Panthers, and the Chucks came out on top in the contest, 8-0.
Punxsy wasted absolutely no time jumping out to an early lead by scoring just 11 seconds into the game when Tanner Evans scored a goal assisted by Trevor Peace.
After that, there was a 27-minute scoring lull before Peace put Punxsy ahead by two with a goal of his own.
Peace scored his second unanswered six minutes later in the 19th minute, and Evans finished the tandem's first-half dominance with his second goal with 14:13 remaining in the first half.
"Those two were really sharp and working together," Punxsy head coach Phil Shenkle said about Peace and Evans' first half work. "Tyler Presloid was just kind of trying to stay out of their way, it seemed. Tanner and Trevor had some really good tempo and chemistry, and Tyler was just kind of feeding them and letting them do their thing."
In the second half, Punxsy never broke stride, adding four more goals to increase the lead to eight goals and holding the Panthers scoreless.
Dane Roken was first to score in the second half with a goal in the eighth minute, and Presloid struck less than two minutes later to push the lead to six goals.
Five minutes after Presloid's goal, Punxsy's Garrett Hoffman scored, and Lance Deet finished the scoring with 23 minutes to go.
Despite the scoreboard, Shenkle said he was impressed with the way Keystone played to the final horn and gave its all.
"I was very impressed with Keystone," he said. "Despite beating them 8-0, when you're getting beat like that, you'll resort to kicking the ball hard to get it out of your end, but they did a great job. Even in the loss, there was some really good soccer by their team."
As impressed as he was with Keystone's play, Shenkle had even better things to say about his team's effort.
"It was a really good win," he said. "The guys were working on keeping a higher tempo and having guys moving to the ball more. We had that tonight, and I was really pleased with how we played."
Punxsy improved its record to 9-1 on the season, and just past the halfway point Shenkle likes another trend he sees emerging: His leaders are stepping up.
"The captains are stepping up and dragging the team along with them," he said. "We're just past the midpoint in the season, and it's all about time for leaders to start emerging and setting themselves apart. I'm at the point where I can't push them anymore. They need someone to lead them on the field, so I'm pleased with that progress."
Punxsy hosts Elk County Catholic today at noon after the Lady Chucks play ECC at 10 a.m.