Fullerton, CA- Playing in her first collegiate match was no big deal for Freshman Brooke Williams as she led Hope International to a 3-2 win over Embry Riddle (AZ) on Thursday afternoon with her first career three goal effort.
The Royals (1-0) controlled their season opener for the better part of the first half. Their effort showed with three corner kicks before the match was 15 minutes old.
Freshman Cindy Cisneros nearly put the Royals on the scoreboard when she bent one of those corners right into the middle of the goal which was headed for the net before Embry Riddle's goalkeeper Brenna Quinn punched the shot over the crossbar.
Just over 27 minutes in, Cisneros repeated the bent corner effort almost to a tee but this time over the keeper. In actuality the ball may have carried into the goal on the corner but following a failed clearance by the Eagles (0-0-1) on the goal mouth, Williams (who had subbed in just minutes prior) was there to head home the game's first goal.
Six and half minutes later, Cisneros and Williams teamed up again. This time Cisneros serve up a ball from the HIU backline that set Williams off to the races. Williams slotted home the goal and the Royals were up 2-0.
After an uneventful remainder of the first half, the Eagles turned up the pressure to start the second half.
Less than five minutes into the second act, Embry Riddle broke down the Hope International defense with a through ball that sent Kalyn Goodenough off on a breakaway and a 2-1 game.
Twenty-five minutes later, after withstanding four straight ERAU corner kicks just minutes earlier, Junior Malea Mullikin played a diagonal ball left to right toward the penalty box that found Williams who took a touch into the box and let a shot fly that dropped just below the crossbar for a 3-1 HIU lead. The third Williams' goal turned out to be the game winner.
Not even two minutes later, the Eagles were awarded a penalty kick but the Royals caught a break when the shot was airmailed way over the crossbar.
With less than five minutes to play, Embry Riddle, who fought back to get the Royals playing on their heels in the final minutes, scored on a through ball that ultimately found the left side netting to make the score 3-2.
But HIU held their ground enough to hold for the win.
Head Coach Andrew Paine simply stated, "It was a full team effort with people covering for other people which set up Brooke for her first career hat trick in her first collegiate game."
The Royals will next return to the field for a game that counts when they traveled to Long Beach to take on Marymount College next Wednesday. The match will be played on the back end of a double header with the HIU men on the Long Beach City College grass field at approximately 4:00 pm.