SOUTH CHINA — The Erskine boys soccer team is off to a hot start. What’s scary for the other Northern Class B teams is the Eagles aren’t yet where they want to be.

Erskine continued its winning ways Friday, cruising to a 6-0 win over Gardiner. The Eagles (3-0-0) have outscored their opposition 16-0.

“We’re working for progression each game and to get a little better each game, to bring the intensity more each game.” Erskine forward Josh Reed said. “It’s a big thing we’ve had to overcome. We have a lot of Type A personalities on the team, nothing wrong with that.”

Erskine kept the offensive pressure on the Tigers (1-2) throughout the contest and it paid off early. A Luke Peabody shot off the post was rebounded by Trevor Hubbard and knocked into the net to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Erskine followed with a visibly frustrating 20 minutes of play, keeping the ball on the Gardiner side of the field but unable to finish and score.

“We go off-kilter sometimes and back on, that was pretty obvious there,” Erskine coach Phil Hubbard said. “We had a little scuffle there and they kind of worked through themselves. Then boom, they came off it.”

That all changed midway through the first half, when Josh Reed scored three consecutive goals in seven minutes to stretch Erskine’s lead to 4-0.

“We exploded with four goals in less than four minutes against MCI,” Hubbard said. “We have firepower, it’s just (a matter of) when it comes.”

Two of Reed’s goals came on crosses from Hubbard and Jake Suga. Reed finished Suga’s pass with a header for the second of his three goals. The pass from Hubbard bounced off a Gardiner defender toward Reed.

“(Hubbard) was messing around with it and shot it, it bounced off a defender and I just cleaned it up,” Reed said.

Peabody added a goal on a Reed assist with a minute left to play in the half for a 5-0 lead. By halftime, the Eagles had a 14-1 shot advantage.

The Eagles used their younger players in the second half, but managed to keep ball possession and added one more goal. Alex Cleaves made a highlight-reel spin move in front of the net before burying his shot home for the sixth and final goal.

Despite the score, Gardiner kept plowing ahead and competed, especially in the second half. The Tigers’ closest scoring chance came midway through the first half, when Dylan Haskell’s shot sailed just wide of the net.

“(They’re) a young team, but have a lot of potential,” Reed said. “I know a lot of guys on the team. Great guys. Individually, great soccer players. They’re young, they just have to grow up together, but they have a bright future ahead of them.”

Erskine finished with a 20-5 shot advantage. Denver Cullivan and Grayson Petty combined for two saves for the Eagles.

Dave Dyer — 621-5639

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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