DALLASTOWN -- Jim Reinalda knows a thing or two about winning.
He also understands that a coach is only as good as his players.
Fortunately for Reinalda, talent is not a problem this year for his Dallastown boys' soccer team.
But what is making this year's Wildcats so special is how well they play as a team. That was clearly on display Thursday afternoon against perennial rival Central.
Despite a series of close and physical battles over the past several seasons, Thursday's battle was lopsided. The Wildcats struck in the second minute to take charge and never let up en route to a convincing 5-1 victory.
Dallastown improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in York-Adams Division I. The Wildcats won the division a season ago, while Central finished second.
"The kids have just really been playing well together," said Reinalda, who is in his third stint as the Dallastown head boys' coach, including a District 3 title in 1996. "This was really just a great team effort."
While Reinalda was thrilled with how his team played, he did single out senior Brent Batory, who collected his first career varsity hat trick.
"I want to go on record and just say that Brent is invaluable to our team," Reinalda said. "He's just really so controlled with how he plays. He sees the field well, he can shoot and he's just got great overall skill. And that's one of the reasons that he never really comes out (of the game)."
Batory's goal in the sixth minute doubled his team's lead to 2-0 before he did it again 17 minutes later. The senior completed his scoring by blasting a long shot into the net with 26:34 left in the contest.
"That one long shot ... I was just like, 'why not let it go?'" Batory said. "It was a nice rip, I thought."
Batory and his teammates have already taken a liking to their new head coach, who mentored former coach Mitch Groh during his last stint heading the program back in 2000.
"Groh learned a lot from Reinalda by coaching with him and (Reinalda) still implements the same type of style that Groh had us playing the past few years," Batory said. "That's team defense and a possession-type offensive soccer."
While the five goals stand out on the stat sheet, Batory and Reinalda were probably more delighted with the team's defensive effort. Both were quick to point out that the defensive mindset isn't limited to just the team's four defenders.
"Defensively we are really a team defense," Batory said. "It's not just the four in the back. Our forwards put pressure on the balls. Coach always says that it's not the first guy that wins the ball, it's the second and third guys that help win the ball."
"That's our team playing defense," Reinalda added. "It is our back four, and I give them a lot of credit, but it's our whole team playing defense. It's our midfielders and the guys up front. ... everybody kind of checking back to win the ball back."
The Panthers had a tough time generating scoring chances. The Wildcats would either clear the ball out, deflect it away or force shots wide and high of the net.
It might have been a perfect defensive effort had a handball violation not allowed the visitors a penalty kick with just more than 11 minutes left. Central's Erik Rishel took advantage and blasted a shot past the goalie, just his team's third shot on goal.
Panther head coach Frank Lenno was not pleased with his team's performance.
"We just were not good in the first half at all," he said. "We were very tentative. We watched everything go on and we paid (for it)."
Blake Dube converted Dallastown's first goal in the second minute in style. The senior used a bicycle kick to direct a cross into the net.
"That was just awesome," Batory said. "I was so stoked when I saw it go in."
Ben Dorn scored the Wildcats' other goal, which came with 11:09 left in the first half.
Dallastown outshot the Panthers, 11-3, although the visitors held a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
OTHER BOYS' SOCCER
YORK CATHOLIC 3, FAIRFIELD 1: At York Catholic, Chris Sosa delivered a goal and an assist to help power the Fighting Irish past the Green Knights. Fairfield's Ethan Yocum opened the scoring with 23:20 remaining in the first half, but York Catholic's Matt Nguyen tied the match at 8:40 of the same half on an assist from Sosa. Brian Riley's goal at 10:45 of the second half snapped the 1-1 deadlock, and Sosa closed the scoring when he scored with 1:16 to play. Zachary Ingram earned the assist on Sosa's goal. Fighting Irish goalie Luca Grippi recorded five saves.
KENNARD-DALE 1, SPRING GROVE 0: At Spring Grove, Andrew Day scored on a breakaway with 15:33 remaining in the first half to lift the Rams over the Rockets. Thomas Lippiard delivered a pass to Day, who booted in what turned out to be the winning goal. K-D goalie Paul Ambrose made four saves to earn the shutout, and Spring Grove goalie Alex Guinn recorded three saves. Each team had four shots on goal, and three corner kicks. Spring Grove won the JV match, 1-0.
YORK SUBURBAN 4, EASTERN 2: At Eastern, Suburban scored four unanswered goals in the second half to wipe out a 1-0 halftime deficit. Tanner Martin and Jon Allen each connected for two Trojans' goals. David Arnsberger and Wyatt Leik were the Eastern goal scorers. Ryan Myers recorded seven saves for Suburban, and David Brubaker supplied three saves. Eastern's Logan Billet stopped 11 shots.
RED LION 2, WEST YORK 1: At West York, the Lions escaped with a one-goal victory. West York won the JV match, 3-0. No other details were provided.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.