Flores nets hat trick in 'Cats win

Flores nets hat trick in 'Cats win

The Wildcats returned home on Friday to host Friends University at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. 

In the opening minutes, neither team had much of an offensive shape as they took the time to feel eachother out. In the 15th minute, Natasha Martin (Las Vegas, Nev.) pinged a shot off the crossbar that the Falcons worked out to set JWU up with a corner kick.  Arianna Flores (Goodyear, Ariz.) took the corner kick and sent the ball directly into the far side of the net to give Johnson & Wales the 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.

In the 19th minute, Flores tried for a second goal but Friends' Haylie Coats made the save. The win blowing towards the north goal had a major impact throughout the game as it affected long balls and goal kicks, changing the style of play for both teams. 

The Wildcats had two more shots on frame in the second half but Coats made both saves. Just before halftime, the Falcons pressed forward and had a series of touches in the box. Through the rebounding, Megan Martinez got her foot on the ball and put it past Katelyn Peters (Brighton, Colo.) to tie the contest 1-1.

In the second half, Flores started the period with another shot on goal but Coats made the stop. With JWU now defending the wind impacted goal the Wildcats had to be careful with their defensive plays. In the 52nd minute, Dalia Fernandez sent a long ball in that carried over the Wildcat's defense and in the goal to put Friends up 2-1. 

In the 61st minute, Martin dribbled the ball up the field and slotted it past Coats to tie the contest 2-2. Peters made another save in 68th minute as both teams continued to press. In the 80th minute, Flores notched her second of the game dribbling a ball into the box and putting it past the keeper from seven yards out.

Amanda Thoe (Montrose, Colo.) crossed a ball from top of the box over to Asianna Harris (Las Vegas, Nev.) who knocked it into the top corner, giving JWU the 4-2 lead in the 82nd minute. Flores scored her third of the game in the  87th minute sliding a ball past Coats from 15 yards out as JWU led 5-2 in the final few minutes.

Flores had five shots on goal for the game and the 'Cats had 10 collectively. Peters made three saves on the five shots she faced.

Johnson & Wales (7-1-1) will host University of Jamestown on Sunday at 12pm at Dick's Sporing Goods Park to wrap up the weekend.