Benet is going to be an offensive juggernaut if Kyle Kenagy and Michael Rindler keep up their torrid pace.
Kenagy scored a career-high four goals and Rindler added a goal and assist as Benet rolled past Bartlett 5-1 on Tuesday on the opening night of the Best of the West Tournament at Naperville North.
Kenagy, a converted defender who notched his first career hat trick in a season-opening 7-1 win over Downers Grove North, now has eight goals and two assists in three games for the Redwings (2-1). Ringler has three goals and five assists.
“You don’t see many players like (Kenagy and Rindler) at the high school level,” said Bartlett coach Ben Beary, whose team is playing in the Best of the West for the first time.
“You’ve got two on one team. You throw everything you can at them and they’re still going to beat you because that’s what good players do. It’s the speed, it’s the size, it’s their touch. We haven’t seen it this season so it’s good for (the Hawks) to see it.”
Bartlett saw way too much of the Benet pair, who dominated from the start. Kenagy gave the Redwings a 1-0 lead when he headed home a Ringler cross just 2:30 into the contest.
Ringler made it 2-0 with 22:53 to go in the first half. He left the game at that point with a shoulder injury and did not return, though Benet coach Sean Wesley was hopeful he could play Thursday against Neuqua Valley.
“Obviously (with) Kyle and Ringler it’s a lot of speed, it’s a lot for a team to handle and (Bartlett) tried to play a very high line,” Wesley said.
“I thought we figured it out quickly, to Sam Knapke’s credit and to Paddy Lawler’s credit. They figured the balls that were going to work as opposed to the balls that were not going to work and we got behind them quite a bit and made it very dangerous.”
Lawler, a senior midfielder, sprung Kenagy for a pair of breakaway goals, the first of which came with 11:58 left in the first half.
Bartlett (0-2-1) got on the board when A.J. Santori scored on a long shot off a feed from Juan Garcia at the 5:42 mark, but Kenagy retaliated with his second breakaway tally at the 19:59 mark of the second half.
Kenagy followed that by powering home a header off a long throw-in from Bobby Smith just 1:28 later.
“That’s really fun but every goal has an assist, so I just can’t take all the credit,” Kenagy said. “Paddy gave me two assists, Bobby gave me an assist and Rindler gave me an assist.
“I thought both teams played well. I think they stepped really high and that played to our advantages, but after our loss to Waubonsie (Valley) I think our midfield started to step it up.”
Lawler said the Redwings learned quickly after blowing a 2-0 lead and losing 3-2 to Waubonsie Valley last Thursday.
“As opposed to the other games, me and Kyle worked on finding that connection between the right mid and cutting across,” Lawler said. “We really worked on that diagonal ball.
“It’s all about penetration. That’s our offense. I found him; he saw me. It was really just a mental connection. We both play in the system and we know our roles and that’s what led us to victory.”
Despite the loss, Beary was upbeat about playing in the Best of the West.
“I couldn’t be happier about the tournament we’re in because you learn about your team after a loss like this,” he said. “So this is an opportunity for them to mature real quickly and learn that through this adversity you become better.”