By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
It was all Mt. Pleasant all day long in Monday?s Southeast Conference showdown at East Lake Park. The Panthers buried Keokuk 9-0 in their biggest blowout win of the season.
The Panthers didn?t waste much time, scoring two goals in the first eight minutes. Jadyn Vongsavath put Mt. Pleasant on the board with a goal off the far post in the fourth minute. Cade Warner sent a rocket into the far post in the eighth minute and it was 2-0 early.
Paris Chounlamany scored the next two goals of the game, both coming off cross passes. He scored his first goal of the game with 18:31 left in the first half and his second with 4:10 remaining to stretch the Mt. Pleasant lead to 4-0.
The Panthers got on the board one more time before halftime. This time it was Payton Kelly who picked up a goal, getting a cross from Vongsavath and putting it in with just 15 ticks left on the clock.
Mt. Pleasant?s starters didn?t last long in the second half. Vongsavath found himself open in front of the net for a goal with 38:10 left and Warner bent in a goal off a corner kick two minutes later to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead with 36:17 remaining.
?I told the starters they had five minutes and I started pulling them after three or four,? head coach Neil Schmitz said after the game. ?We?ve got a big game with Burlington tomorrow night, and we just wanted to make sure the starters got that chance to rest.?
Chounlamany was able to finish off his hat trick with 20:38 remaining, scoring on his own rebound. Bayron Lopez-Diaz scored the final goal of the night, putting one in off a David Blancas corner kick with five minutes left.
Coach Schmitz said good passing led to the Panther win, which was also aided by a few Keokuk starters being absent. Schmitz said the offense ran exactly the way he wants it to.
?Like I told them at halftime, we were attacking and if it wasn?t there, we pulled the ball all the way out to the defense and tried to attack again,? explained Schmitz. ?That?s exactly what I want them to be doing.?
Mt. Pleasant moved to 6-2 overall with the win and 4-2 in conference play. They?ll be at Burlington tonight (Tuesday) for a non-conference game starting at 6:30 p.m.