Recap: Men Turn Up Heat On Hawks As Gaviria Scores 3

Recap: Men Turn Up Heat On Hawks As Gaviria Scores 3

BLUE BELL, Pa. - Sultry, sun-drenched skies provided the backdrop for the men's soccer home opener with Harrisburg Area Community College on Tuesday afternoon. But Mother Nature was no match for first-year forward Ariel Gaviria, who scorched the visiting Hawks by recording a hat trick to lead Montgomery to a 4-2 win in Region XIX soccer action.

"The team bounced back well from last Thursday's emotional overtime loss (at Northampton)," said Head Coach Tom Haney. "They played hard under extreme heat conditions."

Much like they did against Northampton in its previous game, Montgomery struck early and often, netting three goals in the first 20 minutes of the match.

The Mustangs opened with a balanced control attack and at the 11:30 mark of the game Gaviria struck a bending ball from approximately 20 yards. The ball looked to be going out of bounds but the spin brought the ball back inside the left post. Brad Strouse was credited with the assist.

Some three minutes later, Gaviria registered his second goal of the game on a well placed ball into the right side of the goal. Jaron Kicinski assisted on the tally.  Kicinski gave the Mustangs a 3-0 lead less than five minutes later as the first-year midfielder fired a 20-yard laser, an outside of the foot shot that found the right side of the net.

Holding a 3-0 lead entering the second half, Montgomery continued to pressure Harrisburg. And they were rewarded with a number of prime scoring opportunities, several of which were created off a series of consecutive corner kicks.

The missed opportunities nearly came back to haunt the home team as Harrisburg got on the board thanks to a scramble in front of the net in the 63rd minute. Less than three minutes later, the Hawks drew to within a goal when their forward split the defense and scored from 12 yards out.

Montgomery recovered and regained controlled of the ball and the game. In the 70th minute, Troy Eutermoser was tripped up inside the box as he made a great dribbling move on a Harrisburg defender. Gaviria completed the scoring with a penalty kick to the left bottom corner of the goal.

"We still need to find a way to better shut down teams in the second half," Haney said. "There is no doubt we will find the solution in the upcoming practices and games."

The Mustangs, now 2-1 overall and in the Region and EPAC standings, return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Delaware County Community College (1-2 in Region, 1-3 overall, 1-0 in EPAC) for a 1:30 pm match.

- By Bob Kent, Sports Information Director