Worcester, Mass. – Senior reserve Maxwell Lopez (Oakdale, N.Y.) came off the bench and recorded his first career hat trick, sparking host Clark University to a convincing 6-0 win over Becker College in the opening game of the Worcester City Men's Soccer Tournament on Friday afternoon.
The Cougars, who were playing the first game on their new synthetic surface, scored four goals in the final 45 minutes to record the victory.
Clark wasted little time getting on the board as freshmen Demetri Boumis (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) and Yousef Shahin (Bridgeport, Conn.) connected for the first marker of the season. Shahin served in a corner kick that found Boumis alone on the backside of goal and he banged it home for a 1-0 lead.
A little more than ten minutes later the Scarlet and White took advantage of a Hawks' miscue and notched an own goal when a hard hit cross smacked off of a Hawk defender and bounced into the goal at 17:54.
Lopez then started the second half scoring spree when Nicholas Mallozzi (Stamford, Conn.) broke free and fired a shot at Becker backstop Joey Cameron, who turned it away but Lopez was there to tap it home.
Clark pounced on another Becker mistake when a turnover at the top of the box led to John Laut (Georgetown, Mass.) drilling home his first collegiate goal.
With the score 4-0, Lopez took consecutive feeds from Tim Rovnak (Portland, Maine) a little more than a minute apart to complete his three goal performance.
Clark controlled the stat sheet, holding an astounding 35-3 edge in shots and a 16-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Freshman Connor Maguire (Dunstable, Mass.) played the first 45 minutes in the net for the Scarlet and White, making just one save to secure the victory while Alistair Richardson (Tolland, Conn.) and Willie McDonald (Norwell, Mass.) split the second half.
Cameron, who was peppered with shots all game long, had a valiant effort for the Hawks, making ten stops in 90 minutes of action.
Both teams will be back in action on Sunday as the tournament wraps up. The Cougars will face Worcester State at 12:00 p.m. and Becker takes on WPI at 3:00 p.m.