WATERVILLE — Winslow believed it could ultimately wear down Waterville as it had in the rivals’ first meeting this year and as it had done to many other opponents this season. It also knew its rival would be improved and looking for revenge after having its pride wounded in an opening day blowout.

So the Black Raiders put a premium on scoring early in Tuesday’s rematch at Webber Field, which could only help its physical and psychological advantages as the game unfolded.

Jimmy Fowler provided the quick strike, scoring the first of his two goals 4:15 into the game. Winslow then used its superior depth to keep Waterville from sustaining its attack in the second half and shut out the Purple Panthers for the second time this season, 3-0.

“All day we were talking about needing to get the goal right away because we need to make sure that they don’t think they’re in it,” Fowler said. “If they think that they’re in it, they can definitely keep it close. They had some good chances to score. So our biggest task was to score early and kill them before they got going.”

Waterville (5-3) was without star forward Danilo Guthro for the first game of the season in Winslow and the Black Raiders overwhelmed the young Purple Panthers on a hot day, 9-0.

Guthro was on the field Tuesday and the focal point of Winslow’s defense. But Waterville was once again short-handed.

“Having Danilo definitely helps them a lot with their confidence and in their play,” Winslow coach Aaron Wood said. “But there’s no doubt they’re a much better team. I’m sure they’ll be a tough out for whoever plays them in the playoffs.”

“We’re down to 13 guys right now. Grades came out today so we had three of our four starting backs that were out as of today,” Waterville coach Kerry Serdjenian said. “I really wish we could have been full strength. I was looking forward to this game because I felt like we’ve come a long way and could have given them a game. I’m proud of the guys that were in with no subs that had to play the entire 80-minute game. They’re showing a lot of improvement and we’re getting where we need to go.”

Fowler knew where he needed to go to get the Black Raiders (6-1) on the board first, waiting for a cross to come down from a high first bounce in the middle of the box and burying it with his left foot to the left of goalie Liam Edwards (five saves).

“We just put it on net because that’s how plays happen,” Fowler said. “I trapped it and pulled it back to get some open space and then just fired off a shot into the corner. They weren’t marking up on my left foot, so I just let it loose and it went in.”

Spencer Miranda just missed making it 2-0 moments later when his bid from inside the 18 ricocheted off the upper left corner where post meets crossbar.

Guthro’s presence meant the Purple Panthers could challenge Winslow keeper Alex Berard (five saves) more than they did in the first game.

Their best chance to tie came late in the first half when Guthro and Michael Oliveira played a two-man game about three-quarters the length of the field. With Guthro on the right wing and Oliveira in the middle, the pair went back-and-forth with passes before a sliding Oliveira just missed wide right from about 10 feet out.

“We knew it was going to be a whole different game this time around,” senior defender Braden Maillet said. “We just came in thinking we were going to keep everything tight and close and possess good, make everything clean and fast. We knew if we just passes around them, we’d tire them out.”

Waterville caught a break early in the second half when Winslow missed a wide open net after Edwards slipped and fell attempting a save. The Panthers also had some opportunities at the other end, including a hard Ethan Cayer shot that Berard needed quick hands to smother and an Oliveira header off a corner that went just wide left.

But the Panthers lost their legs quickly and the Raiders possessed for most of the half, building a 12-3 shot advantage for the half. Edwards kept it a one-goal game until a shot he had to dive to deflect a shot which spun behind him toward the goal. Jake Warn won the race to the ball and the open net for the insurance gaol with 13:34 remaining.

Fowler added the capper with 38 seconds to go.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

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Twitter: @RAWmaterial33