Cynthia Salgado, Jenny Ortega and Ashley Torres helped Leyden collect its first victory in the West Suburban Gold Division with a 9-2 romp over visiting Proviso East on Tuesday night in Northlake.
The Leyden trio had a hand in every goal but two as they overwhelmed a Pirates side which was unable to deal with the Eagles' pace and direct play.
"Last year we had a lot of trouble finishing, and our top two scorers had 2 or 3 goals each at this time of the year, but this year, Ashley (Torres) and myself each are in double digits," said Salgado, who wears the captain's armband along with Torres and Rachel Valdez for coach Rob Fowler.
"We opened our season with a loss to Lincoln-Way West, then won three in a row to finish the Reavis tournament on a high note and give us some much needed confidence right from the start," said Fowler. "Granted, some of are opponents are not as strong as the ones we will begin to see here in the West Suburban. But we got off to a good start, and that's the most important thing for a team like ours which doesn't have a lot of players who play in the off-season."
Ortega broke free along the right side, then turned the corner and calmly finished past keeper Desarae Echevarria, who made several brave stops as her backline continually left Leyden with opportunities.
Ortega sent Michelle Andrade through minutes later, and the freshman was able to lash home the first of her two goals to double the Leyden lead at nine minutes.
Echevarria stopped Salgado from 30 yards, while her counterpart, Diana Diaz, who split time between the sticks for Eagles, did the same on a close-range blast from Citlally Fabela to keep the hosts' advantage at 2.
Torres bent her looping shot up and over Echevarria with a nifty chip at 28 minutes as the onslaught continued, before Salgado made it 4-0, then 5-0 when she converted a PK after her teammate Andrade was hauled down in the box.
"That was a very good first half of soccer by the girls, but we didn't follow up with the same kind of effort after the break," said Fowler. "We got kind of sloppy."
Echevarria raced off her line on three seperate occasions in the early stages of the second period to change the direction of shots on frame after the Eagles had beaten the Proviso East trap badly. But the junior was unable to stop Ortega, who took advantage of confusion along the backline by the Pirates with the sixth goal of the evening at 48 minutes.
Berenice Vargas, who along with Jackie Monteon showed plenty of pace and energy for Proviso East, broke the shutout in the 50th minute. The Eagles, however, almost immediately answered as Andrade finished a helper from Celia Colindres.
The Pirates (1-7-0, 0-2-0) scored one more time at 64 minutes.
Ledyen's Joselin Treto and Torres each found the back of the net after the Eagles (8-3-0, 1-1-0) missed chances in the closing quarter-hour.
"We're after the school record of 11 wins (set in 2010) and that's one of the big goals for this team this year," said Salgado.
The Eagles travel to Riverside-Brookfield on Saturday, then host Morton on Tuesday in Northlake.
Conant 1, Schaumburg 0: Bianca Maconia's first-half goal held up as the Cougars earned an MSL West victory at Schaumburg. Haley Anderson got the shutout, while Tressa Palcheck was in goal for the Saxons.