HOO DID IT? MOCCASIN FRESHMAN SCORES THREE GOALS IN 5-1 WIN AT FLAGLER
ST. AUGUSTINE - As a member of the New York Jets, Keyshawn Johnson was known for demanding the ball - in no uncertain terms. Alex Hoover seems too quiet to demand anything, but nevertheless, Florida Southern will keep giving her the ball anyway. Especially after Tuesday's game at Flagler where the freshman scored three goals to lead the Moccasins to a 5-1 win.
Hoover's hat trick gives her six goals for the season, all of them in the last seven games. Her three goals on Tuesday all came during the second half, the final two after the Saints had scored to cut the gap to 2-1. She had plenty of help though. Erin Hopkins and Princess Haley each had one goal and one assist, and Linda Hoglund and Christina Crooks each had two assists. It all added up to the Mocs' fifth straight win.
"Alex is a true goal-scorer who is excellent in the box or in front of the goal," said coach Ben Strawbridge. "The reason we brought her to Florida Southern was that every time we saw her play, she wanted the ball and was very comfortable in that position."
Despite out-shooting the Saints 13-2 in the first half, the Moccasins (7-3) led only 1-0 at halftime, and it was still 1-0 midway through the second half. Hoover changed that in the 68th minute by scoring off a pass from Hoglund that made it all the way from the right corner across the box to the far post.
Flagler (4-6) then got on the board in the 74th minute when Katie Uzcategui bounced one off the bottom of the crossbar from 20 yards out. That seemed to put the Saints right back in the game, but Hoover ended any thoughts of a comeback.
Just two minutes after the Flagler goal, Hoover again got free near the back post to collect a pass from Haley, who in turn had received the ball from Hoglund, again from the right side of the field. Hoover converted this one as well, putting the Mocs ahead 3-1.
She wasn't finished. In the 85th minute, the Mocs tried the same scheme, this time with Hopkins on the receiving end of a pass from Haley. The Saints prevented Hopkins from scoring, but her effort allowed Hoover to end up with the ball and score her third goal of the match.
"It's been nice to see Alex do so well in her first year, but it's definitely not a surprise," said Strawbridge. "She has a great attitude, is very coachable, and every time the coaches want to try out some new things, Alex is the first to do it."
Haley closed out the scoring with 3:31 remaining, scoring on a break-away after receiving the ball from Liz Gorman near midfield. It gave Haley a goal in her fifth consecutive game, breaking a team record previously set by Heather Swadling in 2000.
Much earlier, the Moccasins had taken a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute thanks to the work done by Crooks and a brilliant shot by Hopkins. Crooks won possession near the midfield circle and quickly found her teammate on the left flank. Hopkins did the rest, taking the ball across the top of the box before bending a shot over and around goalkeeper Kaitlyn Goffe. It curved into the upper right corner of the net for her eighth goal of the season.
Though it was their only goal of the first half, the Moccasins were largely in control. They out-shot the Saints 13-2 during those 45 minutes, and both Flagler shots came in the first 13 minutes. Both came from outside the box and neither tested Moccasin goalkeeper Martina Tangen Billing.
The Saints did have one other chance late in the half on a corner kick, but Ashlie Haas easily cleared it out of danger.
On the other hand, the Mocs had plenty more and finished the game with a 27-9 advantage in shots. They forced Goffe into six saves and defender Sarah Zambor stopped another that denied Gorman a goal. Gorman's shot had beaten Goffe late in the first half, but Zambor cleared it off the end line before it rolled into the net.
Florida Southern returns to Sunshine State Conference play with its next match, on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. against Florida Tech in Melbourne.
FSC 1 4 - 5
FLAG 0 1 - 1
SCORING: FSC-Hopkins (Crooks), 23:56; FSC--Hoover (Crooks, Hoglund), 67:42; FLAG--Uzcategui (Glasgow), 73:17; FSC--Hoover (Hoglund, Haley), 75:11; FSC--Hoover (Hopkins), 84:54; FSC--Haley (Gorman), 86:29. SHOTS: FSC 27, FLAG 9. CORNER KICKS: FSC 2, FLAG 1. SAVES: FSC 2 (Tangen Billing), FLAG 7 (Goffe 6, TEAM 1). FOULS: FSC 9, FLAG 16. CAUTIONS: Crooks (FSC), 82:10.