FARMINGTON – Reid Parson only needed a narrow window to give the Farmington boys soccer team a couple of first-half goals on Monday evening.
The senior forward completed a hat trick with more space on a long counter run, and the Knights pulled away from North County for a 5-0 victory.
Brody Wilson and Kale Tiefenauer provided late insurance goals, and Farmington (5-0) stayed unbeaten after outshooting the Raiders 10-0 prior to intermission.
North County withstood some early pressure as Blake Reed and Cole Barnes intercepted passes in the middle of field, and Karson Maddox made a saving block in the box.
But the Knights created seven corner chances during the first half – opting to play each of them short for larger shooting angles – and eventually struck in the 20th minute.
Asher Rique rattled a 25-yard shot that caromed downward off the crossbar, and Parson arrived at the loose rebound to slide it past Ethan Guggenberger for a 1-0 lead.
That scoring sequence was preceded by a determined run from Dustin Randazzo along the left sideline. He drew three defenders and earned the corner with patient dribbling in traffic.
Randazzo joined the Knights for his senior season after being home-schooled and competing for the St. Louis City Academy prospect squad in previous years.
His presence was a factor as Farmington widened its early formation to open some passing lanes for teammates. Parson maximized several opportunities to shine.
After shooting wide on connecting touches from Wilson and Devin Stricklin moments earlier, Parson buried a tougher look in the 36th minute.
James Coleman turned with possession along the right side, and sent a feed back to Parson, who used a single touch and thin corridor to score through a maze of defenders and inside the far post.
North County moved several men forward as the second half began, and produced two quick scoring threats off a Farmington turnover and subsequent foul.
Knights center back and captain Trent Rector retreated to clear as Ben LaBrot broke in on a rush, and earlier stood his ground to block a shot when Barnes attacked off a clean steal.
Farmington keeper Logan Schaupert was tested just once, and made a stellar save as Everett Bosch and Kameron Ramsey of the Raiders converged on a loose ball in the box following a free kick.
The ensuing corner from North County was handled in the air by Schaupert. The Knights soon padded their lead with three goals in a span of 5 minutes, 23 seconds.
Parson netted his third in a row when Nicholas McAllister gained possession and sent a through pass on target before the North County defense could scramble back.
Guggenberger made four saves for the Raiders, including a nice stop on a rebound shot from Wilson after emerging from the goal for a sliding block.
Wilson connected on his next shot for a 4-0 lead after taking a diagonal pass from Hayden Wade, then crossed an assist to Tiefenauer with 7:21 remaining as McAllister sprang a 2-on-1 break.
Parson netted the second hat trick this season for the Knights after Randazzo accomplished the feat against De Soto.