It was a good start in more ways than one for the Central York boys' soccer team.
The Panthers opened play in the District 3 Class AAA tournament on Tuesday evening against Daniel Boone and used five first-half goals in routing the Blazers by a 6-1 score at Central York High School.
Fourth-seeded Central York (20-2) now advances to meet No. 5 seed Conestoga Valley on Saturday. Conestoga Valley eliminated Mechanicsburg on Tuesday.
The win also gives the Panthers their third-consecutive season with 20 or more wins.
Central York went unbeaten in YAIAA Division I this fall before Gettysburg denied them a three-peat of the league playoff crown in a one-goal championship game last Thursday.
In their first game since then, the Panthers struck for three goals in the first 20 minutes of play, with senior forward Michael Tolley scoring two of those. Tolley and sophomore Nicholas Starr scored goals 44 seconds apart.
"I think we came out really strong after the county game," Tolley said. "After the county game, I think we were all just ready to get back out on the field and work."
Central York's only other defeat this fall was a 2-1 setback against Lower Dauphin back on Sept. 5.
Last season, Lower Dauphin stunned then-No. 1 seeded Central York in penalty kicks during a Class AAA semifinal. Third seed Reading then beat the No. 12 Falcons for the title.
Lower Dauphin, which went on to make a run to last year's state semis before falling to eventual champ Peters Township out of District 7, is seeded third and in the opposite half of this season's bracket while Reading finished below .500 this season and did not qualify.
Central York, which posted nine shutouts this season and had allowed only 16 goals coming into Tuesday's match, dominated on offense. The Panthers finished with a 12-2 edge in shots and a 10-1 advantage in corners.
Daniel Boone (11-9) was the final team to make the 20-team field and advanced to meet the Panthers by winning its' play-in game over No. 13 CD East by a 1-0 score.
A year ago, the Blazers were seeded No. 8 and saw its season end in the first round of districts to ninth-seeded Manheim Township. Manheim Township was then eliminated by Central York in the second round.
Central York went 21-3-1 and lost in the first round of the PIAA state tourney last season. The 40-5-1 mark over the past two years by the Panthers is the best in District 3 Class AAA.
District 3 Boys AAA First Round
CENTRAL YORK 6, DANIEL BOONE 1
First half — 1. CY, Michael Tolley (Pierce Miller), 31:37. 2. CY, Nicholas Starr (Jared Wagner), 20:31. 3. CY, Michael Tolley (Carter Luckenbaugh), 19:47. 4. CY, Igor Gomes (Carter Luckenbaugh), 10:07. 5. CY, Jared Hileman (Pierce Miller), 8:42.
Second half — 1. CY, Igor Gomes (Carter Luckenbaugh), 28:23. 2. DB Brenden Valverde (penalty kick), 26:13.
Shots on goal — CY 12, DB 2.
Corners — CY 10, DB 1.
Goalies — CY, Trevor Holderegger (1 save), DB, Nathan Leon Guerrero (6 saves).