Lexington's Jackson Pigg and Ontario's K.J. Oden.
Lexington's Jackson Pigg and Ontario's K.J. Oden leap for the ball during the first half of Saturday's match at Ontario.

ONTARIO — The Minutemen are in midseason form.

Lexington scored three first-half goals and cruised to a 4-1 win over backyard rival Ontario in Saturday’s annual grudge match.

The Minutemen (1-0) have won four straight in the series and ran their unbeaten streak against the Warriors (1-1) to 10 matches. Ontario’s last win over Lex came in the 2017 Division II district final.

“You never know what this game brings. It was game No. 1 for us and there’s always a lot of emotions,” Lex coach Peter Them said. “It was a good start for us for sure. We were hoping to come out and put the ball in the net.”

Junior midfielder Will Perkins gave the Minutemen the lead in the fourth minute before a Zach Turlo penalty kick gave the Minutemen a 2-0 advantage with 28:56 to play in the first half. Jack Hiebel capped the first-half outburst with a goal off a JayByx Mack assist with 6:07 remaining in the half.

“We knew Lexington was going to be bigger, faster, stronger and more experienced,” first-year Ontario coach Stephen Armstrong said. “We were OK with letting them pinging it around a little bit as long as we stayed disciplined and composed and that just didn’t happen.

“In the first half we gave up a penalty kick and two one-touch finishes. Those are just hustle plays.”

Ontario got on the board early in the second half when sophomore midfielder Jace Young scored on a rebound to make it 3-1 with 31:19 to play. Less than a minute later, Lexington senior forward Dylan George capped the scoring with a penalty kick after being fouled in the box.

“I thought we were better in the second half,” Armstrong said. “Lexington possessed it a little more, but we got a nice goal then turned around and gave up another PK.

“We gave up a couple of PKs and a couple of hustle-play goals, but those are teachable moments. Our boys are going to learn from those things.”

Lexington, which reached the regional tournament last year, has just one sophomore on its 19-man varsity roster. 

“We have one sophomore in the mix, but other than that the top 30 players in the program are juniors and seniors,” Them said. “We’re in a good place right now. 

“We’re just kind of figuring out roles.”

Ontario fell to Lex in last year’s district final. Armstrong hopes his Warriors get another chance at the Minutemen in the postseason.

“We love the rivalry and I love going up against Pete Them and his boys,” Armstrong said. “They are always well-organized and disciplined. We’re hoping to get another shot this year.”