BRADENTON -- Jonathan Boyd and Alex Virgilio don't need to see each other to know where the other is going to be and when he is going to be there.
The Saint Stephen's juniors showed that uncanny knack when each scored three goals and picked up an assist while leading the host Falcons to a 7-1 romp over Fort Myers Canterbury in a Class 1A-Region 2 quarterfinal Thursday night.
"They can play together with their eyes closed," Saint Stephen's head coach Marc Jones said. "They have that instinctive knowledge of where they are going to be. They are great friends on and off the field. They train well together. They are highly skilled and very good at putting the ball in the back of the net."
Boyd and Virgilio like to have fun on the soccer field and Thursday they showed they are
very good at creating a party atmosphere.
"We have some strong individuals, but this is a team and every player out there knows his role," Jones said. "We play together as a team, and I really proud of them. We've got players who have been around the program for several years and have been mentored by terrific players who have gone on to play in college. Now it's their turn to help the younger players."
Only 25 seconds into the match, Boyd scored from about 15 yards out with an assist from Kevin Zandomenego. Three minutes later, Virgilio made it 2-0 with an assist from Boyd, and the Falcons were already making plans for Tuesday's regional semifinal match, which will be at home against Community School of Naples.
Boyd and Virgilio are the Falcons' two leading scorers, but this was the first time both of them got a hat trick in the same game.
"Everything really clicked and we got that first goal quick. We just went from there and wouldn't let our foot off the gas," Boyd said. "We know they (CSN) is a good team and we wanted to send them a message. We beat them last year and we can beat them again."
At 2-0, Boyd scored, Virgilio got the next two goals and then Boyd knocked in his third of the first half to give Saint Stephen's a 5-0 lead at intermission.
Virgilio got his third goal 1:07 into the second half.
"We couldn't have done it without our teammates and our defense. Like they say, defense wins championships. The midfielders worked the ball really well. All we did was just put the ball in the back of the net," Virgilio said.
Saint Stephen's (12-2-4) had 15 shots on target and 21 shots on goal.
Canterbury had four shots on target and seven shots on goal. Canterbury (13-8-1) scored its goal after the Falcons pulled goalie Chris Morrish and their starters.
"Every game we play now is a cup final. If you lose your season is over and we have high aspirations with the boys going to the final four last year," Jones said. "We want to get back there and we know there is no easy path and it was good to get this one out of the way. We got through with a W and no injuries. And we are looking forward to Tuesday."
Jones credited his defense, particularly Morrish and two of his two seniors in center defenders Evan Fruehauf and Matthew Israel.
"Our goal keeper has been a standout all year for us and Evan and Matthew have been solid all year. When you have a strong goalkeeper and two center defenders like we have it really helps," Jones said.