NORMAL — Veteran Normal West High School soccer coach Val Walker says this year's Wildcats are his best West team ever and are peaking at the right time.
He'll get little if any argument based on the Wildcats' performance Monday night.
Jordan Walker, the coach's son, had a pair of goals and added two assists in leading West to a 4-0 victory over Unit 5 rival Normal Community at the NCHS soccer field.
West improved to 15-4-2 and 8-1 in Big 12 Conference play, moving a step closer to a share of the conference title with their dominating performance against the Ironmen.
"A very impressive display on their part," said NCHS coach Matt Chapman. "They really came to play and that's the attacking play that you've expected from them all year. They put it together tonight for sure."
"At some point we knew we were going to get it right," Val Walker said. "The pieces were going to fall in the right place and they did tonight."
West grabbed a 3-0 first-half lead on goals by Parker Theobald, Clayton Davis and Jordan Walker.
Theobald got the Wildcats on the board with a goal with 26:08 remaining in the first half and then assisted on Walker's first score of the night on a breakaway with 3:17 remaining in the period.
Sandwiched in between was a goal by Clayton Davis with assists from Walker and junior Zach Poehlman, who was making his first start on offense.
Jordan Walker added to the halftime lead with his second goal of the night midway through the final period.
"It was all about energy and communication tonight," said the younger Walker, a Western Michigan recruit. "That brought us all together and allowed us to play as a team and get a lot of chances. It started with the middle winning a lot of balls and we played good defense as well."
Theobald, who has combined with Walker to give opponents headaches for the past four years, agreed West played at a high octane energy level.
"Everybody on our team brought it at every position," Theobald said. "We played as a group and were playing for each other."
NCHS had a golden opportunity to break some of the West momentum shortly after the midway point of the first half.
West goalkeeper Jacob Davis put a stop to their ambitions by first making a diving stop on an NCHS shot and following it by using his body for another splendid save.
"It could have been a little different had he not made those 'bam-bam' saves in the first half," said Chapman.
Davis was playing after seriously injuring a hand late last week.
"He had a piece of fence go through his hand two or three days ago," Val Walker said. "The boy is tough as nails. We didn't know he was going to compete until he was cleared this morning by his hand specialist.
"He's very good at reading the game very well and using his body to block the ball. He had to use every inch of his soccer IQ to make those stops and if they had scored there, they would have had the momentum and the game might have been different."
West outshot NCHS 8-5 with Davis credited with five saves.