WILLIAMSPORT - Coming off its fourth straight Tri-Valley League title, the East Juniata boys soccer team started its journey toward another streak.
That would be another District 4 Class A crown. In the past two seasons, Don Troutman and the Tigers have come away with the title. Tuesday marked the first step in achieving yet another championship trophy.
And the Tigers continued their winning ways.
East Juniata's speed and quick play led to the Tigers winning every 50-50 ball and controlling most of the possession in the opening round against the Galeton Tigers. And the lower-seeded Tigers didn't have an answer.
East Juniata scored four goals in the first half and three goals in the second half en route to a 7-0 win in the opening round of the District 4 tournament.
The locals will be back in action Saturday against Loyalsock at a site and time to be determined.
Coming into the game as the No. 3 seed in the district, East Juniata showed it's a serious contender to get back to the top of the District 4 mountain. And with the speed this team has, playing on turf is just a benefit.
"I think with turf when you have some speed the turf increases that," East Juniata coach Don Troutman said. "(Our speed) is something we've been working on all year long. It took us a few minutes to get used to this turf. This is quick."
The locals sure got used to it in a hurry, however. They controlled the game from opening touch, outshooting Galeton by nearly 30. And East Juniata was able to make seven of those shots stick.
Devin Goodling was the beneficiary of the fast pace early on. Six minutes into the matchup, Goodling found some open space in the middle of the field and fired a shot on net. The ball bounced off Galeton keeper James Sunderlin and found the net.
The local Tigers continued to press. And with 26 minutes to play in the first half, Dakota Dressler scored a goal similar to Goodling's to give East Juniata a quick, comfortable 2-0 edge.
"When we got our legs under us we played really well and the speed was really good," Troutman said.
East Juniata's defense was masterful. With big bodies in Spencer Reinford and Bailey Coder setting up shots in the Galeton zone, there wasn't a chance for a comeback. Throughout the game, Galeton got one good scoring chance on the locals, and that was with 10 minutes to play in the game. And by that time, it was too late.
East Juniata put another two goals up on the board prior to the intermission.
Zane Lauver sent a perfect service in front of the net, which East Juniata was doing whenever it wanted to. Goodling was there to finish off a highlight reel header with 18 minutes to play in the first half.
And with just under two minutes to play, Goodling found Auker streaking down the field to give East Juniata a 4-0 lead heading into the break.
"(Galeton) came and had some intensity," Troutman said. "They put some pressure on us but we did a great job of pressuring back. When we pressure like that it really comes out of our speed of play. We can get dangerous quickly."
After East Juniata got dangerous in the first half, the second half wasn't much different.
Two more goals, one each by Hunter Gingrich and Landon Sheaffer, bumped the East Juniata lead to 6-0 just five minutes into the second half. Nick Lorenz capped off the scoring with a header with 24 minutes to play.
The defensive intensity was a testament to what East Juniata has been doing all season. And sure, seven goals looks good, but the zero on the scoreboard is something that the locals should be proud of.
"We go into each game not looking at the records and don't make any judgments," Troutman said. "We want them to go out and play the system like we want them to. That way you don't have a surprise."
East Juniata didn't get a surprise, but in order for them to contend for another district crown it must continue to improve with every game, Troutman said.
"We still got some things to work on," he said. "It was a good start for is."