Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Mar 1, 2016
- RAPTORS: 8
LOUISBURG -- After struggling to find their offensive footing for much of the season a year ago, the Research Triangle girls' soccer team exploded for a single-game record eight goals in a 8-0 shutout road victory over Louisburg on Tuesday at Joyner Park. It was the team's first opening game win in their three-year history.
"This victory was a great team effort," first-year head coach Jay Liotta said after the game. "It's always satisfying to get a win like this early in the season. There's still plenty of improvement to be made and work to be done, but we're really pleased with this initial showing."
The Raptors' (1-0) senior core of Cassie Mills (2), Ayanna Darden (2), and Sierra Street (1) combined for five goals on the day, but the day belonged to freshman midfielder Halima Hasan (3), who began her high school career with the first hat trick in team history with the team's first goal of the night before adding two in the second frame. Hasan started the team's scoring when she stuck back an errant save on her own penalty kick in the 11th minute. Street converted another penalty kick in the 25th minute on the same play that saw the Warriors (0-1) go down a man for the rest of the night when the foul on Street drew a straight red card.
Darden scored the team's third goal right before the half, and then Mills and Hasan blew the match open with two goals in the first eight minutes of the second half. Both would score again in the game's final minutes, which coupled with Darden's second goal set the eight-goal margin.
Sophomore goaltender Candace Swepson pitched the first shutout of her career, saving six Warriors shots.
Four different players scored on the night, but much of the attention deservedly went to Hasan's hat trick. "We've known from the start that our new players were going to make a big impact," said Liotta, "but for Halima to have a hat trick in her first-ever game is nothing short of remarkable."
The Raptors open NCAC play on Friday night on the road against Kestrel Heights; kickoff at N.C. Central University is set for 6:30.