WINSLOW — The Winslow boys soccer team was at full strength and brimming with experience and confidence to start the season Friday. Waterville was not.

The Black Raiders’ 9-0 victory over the rival Purple Panthers in their Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B opener showed one team clicking on all cylinders and another searching for an identity without its leader.

Jimmy Fowler tallied a pair of goals and two assists and Ben Smith added a goal and two assists as eight different Black Raiders found the back of the net on a hot, nearly cloudless afternoon at Kennebec Savings Bank Field.

“We had to come out strong because we have a big game coming up (against defending Class C champion Maranacook) Tuesday and we have to get ready right away,” Fowler said. “And Waterville’s our rival, so we have to come out strong and never stop.”

Winslow outshot Waterville 20-0 and overwhelmed the Panthers with a bench more than twice as deep. The young Panthers (three seniors, three juniors) — playing without star forward Danilo Guthro as he serves a four-game academic suspension — tried to keep up in the heat with just four reserves.

“We are without two of our six upperclassmen, but I don’t want to make excuses,” Waterville coach Kerry Serdjenian said. “It helps having Danilo, but they’re definitely a much bigger, older team this year.”

Winslow controlled the flow from the start, but had to wait for its luck to turn. Fowler had his first shot ricochet off the right post and would have had a chance at the rebound if diving Waterville goalkeeper Liam Edwards didn’t smother it first.

Edwards stopped Winslow’s first five shots before Smith set up Braden Maillet for a header on the game’s first corner kick at 18:59.

“I’m just trying to put the ball in there,” Smith said. “We have some guys who I know can put it in the back of the net, so I just serve it in there and hope someone makes the best of it.”

“We’ve had some mix-and-match corner kicks we’ve been working on and that’s kind of one of the ones we’ve settled with,” Wolfe said. “Braden has been in the right spot there a few times in preseason and he followed it up with the first goal of the season.”

Fowler made it 2-0 with his first goal of the season eight minutes later.

Freshman Jake Warn set up the third and final goal of the half by squaring in from the left wing, dribbling along the baseline and dropping a well-timed pass to Evan Clark in front of the net for a one-timer.

It stayed there until Winslow cracked the dam open in the second half when Fowler assisted Smith on his goal at 12:02. Fatigue started to set in for the Panthers and the Raiders started to have their way with through-balls, long passes and breakaways.

“It helps us a lot if we win the balls in the air and we keep the pressure on,” Fowler said. “We have more depth and this is our home field. We’re used to this. So we tire them out with our possession and then we go for the through-ball, chip it over and get those breaks they’re not expecting.”

After Noah Dugal joined the scoring parade, Fowler put home a rebound of a Smith shot to make it 6-0. Spencer Miranda, Cody Doughty and Jacob Larsen added late goals.

“There’s always room for improvement,” Serdjenian said. “I hope they take that with them because there are some really good soccer players on our team that are really young. They’re going to be great soccer players, but you can’t play any sport for a really long time and not be on the losing end of things. It’s part of the character building.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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