Smith’s third hat trick guides Panthers in 7-1 win

Panthers move to 5-1 in AMCC play

Greensburg, Pa. - Melissa Smith tallied her third hat trick in as many games as the Pitt-Bradford women’s soccer team cruised to a 7-1 win over Pitt-Greensburg on Saturday.

Pitt-Bradford (9-4-1, 5-1) has now won three games in a row and four of its last five to position itself for a run at the conference title.

It didn’t take long for the scoring to begin after the first whistle. Just three minutes into the match, Smith scored her first goal of the afternoon off a pass from Maggie Boehler. Smith took a shot from the top of the box that beat the keeper low and found its way into the net.

Two minutes later it was Boehler who turned on a pass from teammate Sarah Turner and landed a shot in the back of the net for the early 2-0 lead.

Pitt-Greensburg (4-10, 3-3) found its way onto the scoreboard just before halftime. Tiffanni Downey sent a shot over the top of goalkeeper Danielle Erdley’s hands for the Bobcats only score of the contest.

To begin the second half, the Panthers came roaring down the field deep into the Bobcats territory. Casey Schimpf guided a pass to an open Smith who sent a one-timer into the net for her second goal of the match.

At the 55-minute mark, Smith and Boehler again teamed up for the score, only this time Smith registered the assist and Boehler found the net on a shot from inside the box. This marked Boehler’s second goal of the afternoon.

Five minutes later, Andrea Gundlach put a crossing pass to the center of the box and Jamie Christensen placed a header into the far post to beat the keeper for the goal.

With 70 minutes gone on the clock, Victoria Pearson drove the ball into the box and sent a pass to an open Smith who placed a shot past the goalkeeper to secure the hat trick.

With three minutes remaining in the game, Gundlach tallied her second assist of the day when she sent a crossing pass to Paula Herbert who registered her first goal of the 2013 season.

Goalkeeper Danielle Erdley needed just one save on six shots to secure the victory between the posts.

“I was proud of the team today,” said head coach Mike Idland. “After a stop-start first half, the players seemed to find more and more motivation as the game went on. There were several excellent goals, and Melissa picked up her third hat trick in as many games, which is something extraordinary. It is something I know I will never forget.”

The Panthers gear up for a matchup with conference-foe Penn State Behrend on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m. at the Kessel Athletic Complex.