Strong defense, capable goal keeping and timely offense.
Prairie Ridge has been clicking on all cylinders during the early portion of the 2017 season and nothing changed Thursday afternoon in Crystal Lake.
The Wolves moved to a perfect 9-0 overall record and 2-0 Fox Valley Conference slate with a 3-0 home win over Hampshire.
The Wolves tallied all 3 goals in the first half.
"Our goal all season long is to score first and play with the lead," said PR coach Colin Brice. "We play with great competitiveness and we have great team chemistry. We have playing well in all phases of the game."
Prairie Ridge, which outshot Hampshire 18-4, scored with only 7 minutes and 26 seconds elapsed in the match when Max Kaufmann scored off a perfect feed from Matt King.
The Wolves grabbed a 2-0 advantage when Nick Marconi scored on an assist by Noah Smeja. Marconi scored on a penalty kick with 6:57 remaining in the first half for the Wolves' final score of the half.
"Our goal every game is to come out focused and get the lead," said Marconi. "We work very well together and we have played well in all phases of the game early in the season."
The visiting Whip-Purs (6-3-1, 0-1-0) blanked the Wolves during the final 40 minutes but were unable to score.
With 30:28 left in the contest, Sawyer Shores blasted a 10-yard direct kick but PR goalie Owen Erickson made the diving save.
With 21:55 remaining Braeden Frenette beat the PR defense and had an uncontested shot from 5 yards out but hit the post.
Hampshire starting goalie Andy Krajecki, who gave up all 3 goals and was replaced by Jason Polletta, collected 13 saves. In a reserve role, Polletta pushed away 2 PR shots.
"You have to play well for two halves to beat a team the caliber of Prairie Ridge," said Hampshire coach Richard Schuster. "We made too many mistakes in the first half. We were hesitant to shoot the ball the first half but we were more aggressive in the second half and got more shots on goal. We played much better. We are certainly not where we want to be yet but it is still early in the season."
PR used 2 goalies. Adam Kochmanski played the first half while Erickson was between the pipes during the final 40 minutes. Both goalies collected 2 saves each.
"Both Adam and Owen are phenomenal goalies," said Brice. "They have earned their playing time. It is working now. We may use both goalies for the entire season."