Pascutti's First Hat Trick Leads No. 22 Pirates To 5-1 Win Over Flagler
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Armstrong Atlantic State University junior forward Kristina Pascutti notched her first career hat trick, leading a flurry of second-half goals in the No. 22-ranked Pirates' 5-1 Peach Belt Conference women's soccer victory over Flagler College on Wednesday afternoon at the Armstrong Soccer Field.
Pascutti is the first player for the Pirates (9-2-1, 6-0 PBC) to notch a hat trick since Kristin Burton's trio of goals on Oct. 23, 2009 against UNC Pembroke. Flagler (6-7, 2-4 PBC) dropped its fifth straight match with the loss.
An even first half saw neither team be able to find the net in humid and wet conditions in Savannah. In the second half, however, Pascutti got onto the end of a cross from junior Danielle Fey far post in the 52nd minute to break the scoring, putting the Pirates up, 1-0.
Fey hooked up again with Pascutti in the 61st minute and the forward delivered the goal to put Armstrong by two. In the 68th minute, Pascutti completed the natural hat trick with three consecutive goals, beating Flagler keeper Casey Merson after a through ball from Andye Dawson to give the Pirates the 3-0 advantage.
Pascutti is just the fourth Armstrong player to record a hat trick since the program began in 2005, joining Burton (9), Shana Neves (1) and Amaka Ofuani (1).
Dawson then followed with a pair of goals less than a minute apart - her 70th minute tally came directly off of her corner kick, and nice passing from Torie Scalera following a run from A'shanae Monroe allowed Dawson to finish off the Pirates' scoring in the 71st minute and give Armstrong an insurmountable 5-1 lead.
"First half, I thought we played well," Armstrong head coach Eric Faulconer said. "They [Flagler] have played a very hard schedule and they're a very good team. We just talked about bringing more energy into the game and finishing some of our chances, and I think we wore them down a bit in the second half and put together a good performance."
Flagler got on the board in the 77th minute as, after a corner kick from the Saints rebounded around the box, Brittany Will drove a shot inside the far post to beat Armstrong backup keeper Maggie Carson for the tally. The goal ended a streak of 440:54 scoreless minutes for the Saints that dated back six matches.
The Pirates finished the match with a 25-7 edge in shots. Merson made seven saves in net in 81 minutes of action for the Saints, while Meghan Mayville made one save and did not give up a goal in 74 minutes of work.
Armstrong held a 12-1 edge in corner kicks and the Pirates were whistled for 14 fouls, compared to six for the Saints. Each team was offsides once in the match.
The Pirates return to action on Saturday, October 15, visiting Montevallo for a 2:00 p.m. Peach Belt Conference matchup with the Falcons.