A group of Lancers defend Bluffton senior Jesse Montell (17) in their defensive-centric formation on Tuesday night at Lincolnview High School. The Pirates beat the Lancers 5-1. (DHI Media/ Reid Maus)
A group of Lancers defend Bluffton senior Jesse Montell (17) in their defensive-centric formation on Tuesday night at Lincolnview High School. The Pirates beat the Lancers 5-1. (DHI Media/ Reid Maus)
MIDDLE POINT — The Bluffton Pirates traveled to Lincolnview Tuesday to play the Lancers in Northwest Conference boys soccer action. The visiting Pirates were able to best the Lancers 5-1, scoring four goals in the first half.

The Lancers were only able to get one shot off of the very speedy Pirates, which was in part a result to the home team’s preface on defense.

“We tried to play more defensively today than we would against another team,” said Lincolnview coach Anson Moody. “Knowing Bluffton— they’re a scoring machine.”

The Lancers were able to hold off the potent Pirates offense for 15 minutes, before sophomore Tayton Kleman found the back of the net giving the visiting Bluffton team a 1-0 lead. Kleman found a open net when his teammate Jayden Mays dribbled the ball down the right baseline and gave Kleman a beautiful touch, which he then knocked into the left side of the net.

The score would stay 1-0 till the 31st minute when senior midfielder Jackson Steinmetz scored his first goal en route to a hat-trick in a 10 minute time frame.

“Steinmetz is the third or fourth player to score the hat trick,” said Pirate head coach Steve Smucker. “One thing I like about this group is that we are pretty balanced, so we play a lot of kids and we can see who is on that day.”

Steinmetz would go on to score six minutes later when he sneaked a shot barely past the out-stretched glove of Lincolnview’s keeper Creed Jessee, to give Bluffton a commanding 3-0 lead.

Jessee played very well in the net. Even though Bluffton scored five goals, the sophomore had over 10 saves.

“He stepped on the pitch last year, never played before— he didn’t know what a soccer ball was,” Lincolnview head coach Anson Moody said sarcastically of his keeper. “He is a very athletic kid. He had a lot of pressure today. I always tell him that there is 10 guys in front of him, that if a break down gets to him—it’s not on him.”

Though Bluffton won the match the most jaw dropping play of the game came from a blue Lancer jersey, as senior Kyle Wallis had a fantastic goal. He would receive the ball a little past mid field and on the left side. He would take on the back row of the Pirates defense all by himself. As he methodically worked up the line, never losing possession, he found an opportunity to “nutmeg” a Bluffton defender to set up a tough shot. He nailed the shot working from the left side of the box to the right post to make the score 3-1 with a minute left to play in the half.

This was the only shot Lincolnview had the entire game.

“We had some struggles getting our forward the ball,” said Moody. “They have a fast back four, and we have a couple of very fast forwards, and we just couldn’t get it to them. One of team’s goals was to get one in on ‘em and of the team goals and I think we achieved some of them.”

Steinmetz scored his third and final goal just 30 seconds after the Lancers got on the board thanks to very aggressive play from the visiting strikers.

One of the keys to Bluffton’s success Tuesday was the energy their team plays with.

“[Energy] has been a big focus this year,” said the Pirates head coach.”On dead balls, on free kicks that we are attacking, we want energy. So we tell our center-backs and our goal keeper, that it is that constant chatter. Every time that there is a dead ball situation, instead of just dropping and letting your mind wander you wanna be thinking about the next moment.”

Bluffton scored their final goal in the 52nd minute when a cluster of bodies sneaked the ball on the ground into the net off of a throw in.

The Lancers fall to 0-4-2 and will host Miller City on Thursday.