Lambrecht hat trick help carry Black Raiders

SOUTH CHINA — The Winslow boys soccer team got an early start on Saturday morning, in more ways than one.

The Black Raiders scored twice in the first four minutes, found a hat-trick hero in junior Isaac Lambrecht and posted their second straight shutout in a 4-0 blanking of Erskine Academy in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B game with a 10 a.m. kick-off.

Before most in attendance even had time to polish off their first cup of coffee, Winslow (5-2-0) was out to a 2-0 lead. The Black Raiders’ were on the front foot from the outset, while the Eagles (6-2-1) started sleepily and found themselves in a deep hole far too early

“We wanted to start out fast, start out quick, and take it to them right away,” senior center back Mike Wildes said. “You can tell our chemistry has gotten better. We’re moving the ball on the floor a lot better, strikers are starting to put in more goals and the defense is starting to hold more strongly. We’re starting to come together as a unit.”

Illustrative of its slow pace early, Erskine was whistled for five fouls in the first four minutes — defending players often a step behind the building Winslow attack. When senior striker Matt Phillips was hauled down in the box in the third minute, Lambrecht stepped up and polished off the penalty kick for a 1-0 Winslow lead.

A minute later, Wildes found a seam on a quick restart just outside the box and ripped a bullet into the net for another score.

Four minutes. Two shots. Two Black Raider goals.

“We have come out in previous games slow and been a second-half team,” Winslow coach Aaron Wolfe said. “The goal was to come out, play quick, posess and try to set the tone by possessing quickly.”

“We had trouble adjusting right off the bat,” Erskine coach Carrie Larrabee said. “We kind of came out strong like we did Thursday night (against Maranacook). We came out trying to play the same game and got some calls that didn’t go our way right away, and that kind of shook us up a bit. We struggled to adjust from there.”

Lambrecht combined with senior Kaleb Burbank to break down the Erskine midfield and make it a three-goal game, adding his second goal of the morning in the 52nd minute.

Lambrecht’s first career hat trick was completed in the 74th minute, when Wildes drilled a low corner kick along the touchline that Lambrecht — his lanky frame parked at the near post — touched past Eagle goalkeeper David McGraw (three saves).

“It feels pretty good,” Lambrecht said. “We’ve got Jake Warn and other guys that are fast and quick on their feet. I think, yeah, some teams might overlook me.”

“He scored a lot of important goals for us last year,” Wolfe said of Lambrecht. “He might not be the focus (of other teams), he might not get the attention, but he’s one of the players we look to to put the ball in the net. He’s been doing that all year so far.”

From there, the Black Raiders — who thumped Lawrence 5-0 on Thursday — saw the shutout through to the end. Erskine failed to generate a shot from within 19 yards of goal.

It was tough sledding through the midfield for both sides, with the game seeing more fouls (39) than shots attempted (23). Only 10 shots in total found their way on frame.

“It’s been a difficult task to find that right mixture of who goes where to make (the attacking game) happen,” Larrabee said. “Just when we think we find it, we have an injury or somebody gets pulled out of the mix, so it’s been hard for kids to jell and feel that as a unit when we have to keep changing it up and adjust.”

After starting the season with a seven-game unbeaten streak, Erskine has lost two straight, both by shutout.

“We knew they like to play over the top and they have some quick guys up there,” Wildes said. “We prioritized depth and made a mental note of that. We tried to keep them out of the box and our end as much as we could, and I think we were pretty successful at it.”

“Defensively, we did a pretty good job containing them and making sure they didn’t have many good chances. We bottled them up for the most part,” Wolfe said. “Against a very good team, that’s saying something. The thing that I’m most proud about with this game is that our defense didn’t allow much. When it got to our defensive third, we clamped down.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

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Twitter: @TBarrettGWC