There's a first time for everything.
In his 20-plus years as a head coach, Eddie Horn has never had a team win by 10 goals to bring an early end to a game. But Tuesday was the day, as the Jefferson City Jays scored four times in the first 20 minutes on their way to a 10-0 victory against the Battle Spartans at the 179 Soccer Park.
"Scoring early made it easy to get people into the game," Horn said. "Sometimes in games like this, the players can lose interest. But they came out and played well from the start."
The Jays got on the board about three minutes in on an unassisted goal by Marcus Woodruff. That was followed two minutes later on a goal by Erich Sporleder, before goals by Logan Horn and Woodruff made it 4-0 midway through the half. Mason Vonderhaar got assists on the third and fourth goals, which brought in the Jefferson City reserves.
"Our schedule has been so competitive this year, there are some guys who have only played in a couple of varsity games," Eddie Horn said. "They work hard in practice every day, they push the starters every day, so we just let them go out and play."
With the starters back in at the start of the second half, the Jays got goals from Woodruff and Aaron Crane in the opening six minutes. Vonderhaar made it 7-0 midway through the half on a header off a rebound and it was time for the bench to get back into the game.
"Once the score gets a little out of hand, the team that's down can maybe start to give up a little bit and the score can get ugly," Horn said.
The game came at a great time for the Jays, Horn said.
"We played three tough games at the Gateway Classic over the weekend and we're starting to pick up a few little injuries," he said. "So it was nice to get our starters out a little early."
The Jays scored their final three goals in a 10-minute span to end the contest with a little more than seven minutes left. The scores were by Mervyn John, Hardy Kumeso and Romando Thomas.
"It was great to see some kids get their first varsity goals," Horn said.
Alex Hilke got the shutout in goal for the Jays, stopping one shot.
Battle (3-9) is coached by former Jefferson City assistant Jack Rubenstein.
"Jack is a great coach and it's just a matter of time before he gets that program going," Horn said.
The Jays (11-2) will travel Thursday to St. Louis to take on the C.B.C. Cadets before heading Friday to Springfield to start play in the Kickapoo Tournament.