There's no denying that the Geneva boys soccer team loves playing at home.
Facing their second Tri-Cities rival at home this fall, the Vikings easily handled Batavia on Thursday night in an Upstate Eight River Conference contest, 4-1.
The Vikings erupted for three first-half goals and never looked back. They've now only won twice this season, but both victories have come on their home turf.
"There's something exciting about playing in front of your home fans and now with the turf there's a speed and bounce to it that the guys like," Geneva coach Ryan Estabrook said. "If we could play all our games at home we'd be happy about it."
Geneva (2-4-2) wasted little time in taking control of the action. Matt Butz struck first to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Nick Konicek extended the lead before Butz delivered his second big blow to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead heading into halftime.
"Coach has been telling us that it doesn't matter how it looks, just so it gets into the goal," Butz said. "Now we're just trying to win the games and we can win many of them as long as we finish."
It's taken a bit of time for such a message to register, but apparently it's starting to take hold of the hosts.
"We've been hammering it to them that it doesn't matter what body part it goes off of or if they have to follow it in," Estabrook said. "We just want to go until the goalie has it secure and we'll be disappointed if the ball is bouncing around and we don't score."
The Vikings virtually assured themselves a victory when they pushed ahead 4-0 on a Josh Poythress goal with 29:16 left in the second half.
Batavia (2-9-0) finally broke the shutout late in the second half when sophomore Adam Heinz connected.
"We got the one goal but could've had two more on throw-ins," Batavia coach Mark Gianfrancesco said. "But what are you going to do? We didn't do enough early either."
The Vikings now have a great chance of saying they dominated the Tri-Cities this fall. All that stands in their way is St. Charles East, who they'll face next Tuesday.
"We're definitely excited about that opportunity," Butz said. "We've been working a lot on our shooting and stuff in practice and hopefully we can continue it."