WINSLOW — The Winslow boys soccer team woke up early, got to the park early, got started early and had all the points available with rival Waterville in their back pocket fairly early, too.

The Black Raiders scored twice inside the first seven minutes and comfortably rode the early advantage to a 3-0 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference victory over the Purple Panthers on Saturday morning at Kennebec Savings Bank Field. Levi Olin, Isaac Burbank and Andrew Poulin all scored for Winslow (5-2-1), which got a two-save shutout from J.J. Carey between the sticks to preserve the win.

Waterville dropped to 4-3-0.

“We knew we had to come out hard,” said Olin, a sophomore central midfielder. “We’ve been losing games because of slow starts. It’s had to play from behind, so it’s huge we got a good start today.”

When Waterville was sloppy with a couple of clearance attempts, Olin slotted home the game’s first tally before the four-minute mark, and the lead doubled just three minutes later when an inadvertent handball in the 18-yard box awarded the Black Raiders a penalty.

Burbank neatly tucked his spot kick along the ground inside the left post, well out of the reach of Waterville keeper Zach Menoudarakos (two saves).

“Other than our very first game of the year, we’ve not been a traditionally fast-starting team,” Winslow coach Aaron Wolfe said. “We’ve been more of a second-half team. Starting quick really helped us. We just played better all-around (than in a 4-3 loss to MCI on Thursday). Defensively was what the focus was, and we played much better defense.”

The festivities remained fairly quiet over the next hour and a quarter, despite the fierce nature of this long rivalry. The Panthers struggled trying to create much in the run of play, too often settling for long, weak balls from distance.

The lack of bite in the attacking third left Waterville coach Kerry Serdjenian perplexed.

“We weren’t really getting the chances we were looking for today,” Serdjenian said. “What we’re practicing is not converting into games. We did not get the scoring opportunities we’ve gotten in six out of our last seven games. … We were pretty direct and not really generating any chances from the wings.”

“We wanted to try and possess, just to wear them down,” Olin said. “It was nice to get the shutout to show we can stop teams from scoring. It was nice to see, for sure. Defense can wins games for us, so it’s something we need to focus on.”

Waterville tried to up the pressure late on, resulting in some space in dangerous areas for the Black Raiders. Poulin capped the day with his goal in the 80th minute — on Winslow’s first on-target chance after halftime.

“We tried to stay with what we were doing (early),” Wolfe said. “I feel like we’ve been scoring goals. It’s just a matter of playing good defense. If we play better defense, I think we’ll be a much better team.”

Comments are not available on this story.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.