Eduardo Hernandez and Daniel Kulawiak led a 4-goal first-half explosion to help get Leyden's boys soccer team headed toward a 7-1 victory over visiting Plainfield East on Monday in Franklin Park.
Kulawiak put the Eagles (10-1-2) in front in the 15th minute when he smashed in a header at the back post off a nearly perfect serve from Hernandez.
A Hernandez strike just 60 seconds later was the eventual game-winner as Leyden extended its unbeaten streak to 10.
"We struggled in the heat on Saturday during a 0-0 draw with Maine West, so it was good to see the guys come out and attack, create and finish our chances," said Leyden coach Mark Valintis, whose team will host Addison Trail on Tuesday in a key West Suburban Gold contest.
The win was a homecoming of sorts for Plainfield East coach Cosimo Patano, who was an all-state forward for Leyden in 2006.
"It's great to come back to now be coaching on the same stadium where I used to play," said Patano, who scored 21 goals in his senior year and earned a second straight all-area selection. "I have a lot of great memories from my soccer career here at Leyden, and I hope that we can continue to play each other every year."
Patano's team stayed close in this nonconference matchup for the first quarter hour, but the Eagles then hit the Bengals (3-10-0) with 3 goals in six minutes.
Francisco Toral adding to the scoreline after Hernandez doubled the advantage.
"We've had a lot of slow starts this season, but once we get ourselves into the game, we begin to play the way we're capable of playing," said Hernandez, who leads the Eagles with 11 goals.
Bengals senior Cesar Montes pulled one back for the visitors on a wonderful piece of individual. Montes tricked his way free before firing past David Duwal, who had no chance to stop the left-footed blast from just outside the box.
Duwal had stopped a Montes PK attempt minutes earlier with a full-extension effort.
Marcelo Garcia assured the Eagles would go into the break with a 3-goal advantage when his sensational one-timer rattled the post before falling over the end line in the 40th minute.
"We started by chasing 3 goals, missed a PK, then put one in after that -- and that's not the way to play the first 40 minutes against a very good team," said Patano.
Carlos Garcia, Oscar Cifuentes and Dawid Nozka would put the finishing touches on the Eagles' victory with second-half goals as Leyden matched its season high for goals in a match.
"We know we can play like this all of the time, so it's important to just keep playing this way from here on out," said Kulawiak, who anchors an air-tight backline which has conceded just 2 goals in its last six games.
The Eagles' busy week continues after Addison Trail, with Hinsdale South paying Leyden a visit Thursday. After that, the Eagles play Glenbrook South before a trip to Palatine at noon Saturday.
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