MAXWELL - A strong first half did the job for Ballard in a 5-1 victory over Collins-Maxwell-Baxter Thursday in girls’ soccer at Maxwell.

The Bombers put four of their goals on the board in the first 40 minutes. CMB put up a good fight in the second half, but the Bombers were too tough defensively for the Raiders to make up any ground.

“Our key was playing to our feet and not playing down,” Ballard sophomore forward Sydney Halverson said. “Just coming out strong and proving that we’re a good team. We played our game really well.”

Halverson scored her first-career hat-trick with three goals for the Bombers. She put two on the board in the first half and netted the only score over the second 40 minutes.

“I’m very excited,” Halverson said. “I got all those amazing passes from my teammates — it enabled me to get the hat-trick. I’m so happy.”

Cassie Smith and Stephanie Knittel each added one goal apiece for Ballard in the first half.

The victory put Ballard at 2-0 on the season. The Bombers are a young team with only two seniors on their roster, and they also feature a new head coach, Brent Emerson.

But with two victories to start the season, Ballard is showing no early signs of inexperience.

“I think our younger girls are getting amazing opportunities,” Halverson said. “We’re trying to build our program up to something phenomenal like Nevada’s.”

CMB fell to 1-2 with the loss. The Raiders played Ballard to a near standstill in the second half; they just couldn’t make up any ground.

“I thought the second half we played even with them — shots I think, were 4-4 in the second half, or something like that,” CMB head girls’ soccer coach Gary Cummings said. “We just got down in a hole and couldn’t get out of it. But the attitude of the girls is good — they kept working hard.”

Tatum Tremain scored CMB’s only goal 22 minutes into the game. Tremain followed up a shot off the upper bar of the goal by Caitlyn Bruntz to make the score 2-1 before Ballard came back with a goal two minutes later to regain control.