After scoring two goals in a 1-0-1 start to the season, Naperville Central’s boys soccer team was ready for a breakout.
The Redhawks used Tuesday’s Best of the West Tournament opener against Bartlett to see it all come together offensively.
Central rolled to a 6-0 win behind a hat trick from senior Jordi Henneman. Senior Jordi McCormack added two goals and an assist.
“It was nice to see them first create opportunities and then put away a number of them,” Central coach Troy Adams said. “We talked a lot about playing simple, playing 1-2-3. That’s what we’ve been stressing.”
Central (2-0-1) wasted little time getting things going, when McCormack fired a cross from the left sideline to senior Daniel Poole, who punched in the goal with 37:33 left in the first half.
Henneman then juked Bartlett goalie Jake Hasenstein and put the ball in the empty net with 24:42 left to make it 2-0. Henneman struck again with 18:22 left in the half.
In the second half, the Redhawks kept the pressure on Bartlett (0-3), scoring three more times. McCormack scored with 28:48 left; Henneman completed his hat trick with 24:31 left. Junior Kyle Forest put in a rebound goal with 17:24 left to cap the scoring.
“We started connecting passes more,” McCormack said. “(Scoring a lot of goals is good) especially to gain confidence if you haven’t scored in a while. I felt good. My teammates did a great job.”
Despite giving up six goals, Hasenstein had a solid game in net for the Hawks. Adams counted at least four Central shots that he turned away that would normally be goals.
But Bartlett was unable to get anything going offensively to back Hasenstein up. In the Hawks’ three losses so far this season, they have scored two goals total.
“It’s one of those things, we haven’t handled adversity that well yet,” Bartlett coach Ben Beary said. “That’s something that we have to continue to work on. I feel like soccer-wise we did some good things. We were getting the ball in the box. The crosses we were sending in were right there, we were just shooting them right at the keeper. We had chances.”
The tournament continues Thursday as Central, ranked fourth in the Sun-Times preseason rankings, takes on ninth-ranked Sandburg at 5 p.m. Bartlett and Waubonsie Valley will face off at 7 p.m.