In the first 5 minutes, the Ritenour Huskies had the Francis Howell soccer team out of sync on offense.
But junior forward Tommy Naumann and sophomore forward Tony Sesti asserted themselves over the next 20 minutes and the Vikings got rolling.
Naumann scored the Vikings first two goals in 15 minutes and Sesti added a pair of goals as Howell raced to a 7-0 victory over Ritenour in the first game of the Fort Zumwalt Kickoff Classic at Fort Zumwalt East.
The game was also the season opener for both teams.
After being held scoreless for the first 5 minutes, Howell (1-0) scored four goals over the next 25 minutes to take control of the game.
“The first 10 minutes were a little shaky as we gave up a couple of opportunities but I think the nerves kind of settled down after we got that first goal,” Francis Howell coach Michael Enright said.
Naumann put the Vikings on top with a goal at the 4:03 mark of the first half.
He added his second goal of the day 15 minutes later on a shot from the left side of the box for a 2-0 Howell lead.
“It was great to get off to a good start early and get the team going pretty much,” Naumann said.
Just over a minute later, Sesti scored his first goal off a crossing pass from the right side.
Javier Soto then found the back of the net to push the lead to 4-0 with 10:51 left in the first half and the Vikings offense was red-hot.
“I think the second group of guys that came in really gave us an extra boost of energy and got us into the game and got us really going,” Naumann said.
Sesti scored his second goal just before the half, as the Vikings took a 5-0 cushion into the intermission.
“That (run) just kind of opened things up for us and we played more confident and more intense and it just kind of opened up from there,” Enright said.
That flurry allowed Vikings goalies Jo Cruz and Will Thwing to have plenty of support in the net. Both were solid, turning away two shots each to get a shared shutout.
“I thought both keepers did well,” Enright said.
Ritenour (0-1) had a few scoring chances early and failed to convert on them.
As the action rolled into halftime, the Huskies were outgunned by Howell’s skill and speed, but Ritenour coach Mike Murray saw plenty of good things from his club in their debut.
“Howell, we knew they were a very top-flight team and we knew they were going to be a handful,” said Murray. “It was not the start we wanted score wise but we still saw some positives in there. Our two young goalies made some really nice saves and my defense put in a great effort.”
Viking reserves Burke Hoedbecke and Jared Cessac added goals in the second half to round out the scoring.
Howell will go for its second win in the tournament on Monday at 7 p.m. at Fort Zumwalt East against Warrenton.
Ritenour will take on host Fort Zumwalt East at 5 p.m. on Monday in a second round game.