A season's worth of frustration spilled on to the field for Lawrence High's boys soccer team Tuesday night.
And for one night at least, the Lions replaced that frustration with pure, unadulterated joy.
Behind unrelenting offensive pressure, Lawrence shellacked defenseless Leavenworth High, 5-0, at Youth Sports, Inc.
The victory helped Lawrence (4-8, 1-6 in Sunflower League) surpass its win total from all of last season. There was more good news afterward, too. The Lions also jumped the Pioneers in the Sunflower League standings.
"It feels great," senior Bobby Davis said between high-fiving teammates and having team photos snapped. "It's nice to get one of these and get back on top of the horse. We've been knocked off a couple times pretty good."
It took less than six minutes for the deluge of scoring to commence when Davis headed a ball beautifully over Leavenworth's goalkeeper off a cross from senior Eddie Okene.
Davis, who normally plays as a defender, moved into the front third of the field for the first half. Lions coach Matt Anderson placed him at right midfielder to make up for the loss of junior Tor Fornelli to an anterior cruciate ligament injury a few games ago. Anderson then moved Davis back to defender for the second half.
"It's nice to have that flexibility," Anderson said, "and it's something we'll continue to look at."
Davis may have been the catalyst Tuesday night, but senior Dar Fornelli was the ringleader of the Lions' bunch of merry players.
Dar Fornelli had a say in each of the next four Lions goals, scoring once and assisting on three others.
Just before halftime, Dar Fornelli found senior Spencer Scott with a through ball behind Leavenworth's defense. Scott, in turn, slipped the ball into the back left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.
Eight minutes after the midway break, Lions junior Will Burg passed through to Dar Fornelli, who raced down the right side of the field, kicking the ball near post under a diving Pioneers goalkeeper.
Dar Fornelli said his team played perhaps one of its best second halves this season, thanks in large part to Davis' quick goal to begin the game.
"We can't say that's happened too many times during the season," Dar Fornelli said of having an early lead. "We're usually on the other end of the stick, but it definitely felt good. We were able to relax a little bit more."
Dar Fornelli hit Okene in stride on yet another through ball in the 66th minute, as Okene glided behind the Pioneers' defense for the Lions' fourth goal.
Lawrence senior Jake Pfannenstiel was the beneficiary of Dar Fornelli's final assist, a perfectly bent free kick into the penalty area that Pfannenstiel buried into the net.
The five goals marked the most the Lions had scored in a game this season.
"I think it's one of those things where the seniors are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," said Anderson, whose team has four games remaining in the regular season. "Hopefully, it's given them something for these last few games and to get ready for regionals."