WHEELING - Linsly has only played four games, but after Tuesday's 5-2 victory against Brooke at Holloway Field, the Cadets looked like a team that has been clicking on all cylinders for months.
Good thing, too, with a tough stretch facing Linsly in the next week.
Jamaal Ebanks led the way with two goals (he also the key playmaker on an own goal) and an assist as the Cadets improved to 3-1.
PLAYING THE BALL — Brooke’s Doug Hardsouk plays the ball past Linsly’s Tim Chung during Tuesday’s 5-3 win by the Cadets.
-- Josh Strope
''We have great depth and (Brooke) had less guys, so know if played a complete game, we could get them in and we were able to finish in the second half,'' Linsly coach Eric Fries said. ''Our ball possession got great in the second half. I thought we moved it well, finishing and communicating was great. Teams are going to work hard in the first 20 minutes and try to get up on us but we wore them and wore them down and they just couldn't get out of their own end.''
The match got off to a fast-paced start as Linsly's Sung Bok Yoo fired a shot on net that Brooke goalkeeper Zachary Ciccolella couldn't come up with cleanly and slipped into the back of the net less than two minutes in.
Brooke (2-3) came right back and answered two minutes later as Nathan Morris fired a shot from outside of the box that beat Linsly netminder Jason Mull to the lower right corner. Less than a minute later, the Cadets regained a lead as Ebanks beat a defender along the end line, passed back to a charging Tim Chung, who lifted it over Ciccolella's hands, off the crossbar and across the goal line.
Goals were scored on the first three shots.
Brooke again tied it on another goal from Morris in the 17th minute.
Like before, Linsly didn't take long to retake the advantage, scoring five minutes later as Ebanks fought off two Brooke defenders before beating Ciccolella for a 3-2 lead.
''When a team comes back down and scores, our offense knows they have to pick our defense up,'' Fries said. ''We had some breakdowns but we had offense stepped up.
''Still, across the board, it was a great team win. Jamaal up top just worked (Brooke's defenders to death). He is starting to be more composed and he will start scoring lights out.''
It was Ebanks' hard work that helped Linsly create some space. He received the ball down deep and sent a pass across the middle to Lucas Lorentz. Instead, it hit off the heel of Christian Hooper and into the Brooke goal.
''In the first half, we got caught early and we played back but I think the rain played a big factor in the second half,'' Brooke coach Brian Cerullo said. ''In the second half, guys started sliding and it got a little chippy, and got us out of our game.
''I think (the own goal) had an effect but they will never admit it. It's never a fun thing. Coming from a former player, I know what that's like''
Ebanks completed the scoring when scored his second goal in the 60th minute on an assist from Ben Morano.