FAIRMONT — Marshall junior striker Moo Gay demonstrated at Kot Soccer Complex why he’s leading the state in scoring Thursday night.
Gay netted two of his co-game-best three goals during the opening 40 minutes, while teammate Isaiah Argueta delivered a second-half hat trick to power the Tigers to a 10-0 Big South Conference soccer triumph over the Fairmont Area Cardinals.
“I think Moo had either 12 or 13 goals coming into tonight, but we know he’s the top scorer in the state,” said Marshall head coach Tony Correa. “We had good overall balanced scoring tonight to go with him (Moo).”
“We know how good he (Moo) is and tried a couple of different defensive coverages, but it wasn’t that effective,” said Fairmont Area head coach Brady Meyer.
Junior midfielder Jared Hernandez set the high-octane tempo for the Tigers by filtering a perfect lead pass to Cesar Guzman Moreno to trigger a left-wing rush at Cardinals’ keeper Thomas Hamlet. Guzman Moreno drilled a laser into the twine for a quick lead at the 34:01 juncture.
Gay then needed less than a span of 2 minutes to triple Marshall’s lead. Gay rocketed a left-pipe net-finder off Hernandez’s whirling back-kick crossing pass for a 2-0 lead at the 33:12 mark.
Gay displayed his acceleration and overall speed by dribbling by Fairmont Area’s back line along the left wing and ripped a liner inside the right post at the 31:49 juncture.
Alex Linn-Bjork’s left-wing entry pass later ricocheted off a Cardinal defender and into the net for an own goal and 4-0 lead by intermission.
“On a positive note, we did have 10 legitimate shots on goal — five in each half. Marshall’s keeper (Roberto Garcia Lopez) had good lateral quickness and denied us on a couple of good scoring chances,” said Meyer. “We just didn’t get any breaks or bounces tonight.”
Cardinals’ striker Gerson Revolorio nearly spoiled Garcia Lopez’s shutout bid at the 19-minute mark of the opening half, but the Tigers’ junior goaltender made a fully-extended diving stop.
Fairmont Area’s Jack Sadusky drilled a rising left-footed missile from inside of 15 feet, but once again Garcia Lopez proved worthy of the challenge by making a leaping two-handed bat-away of the shot with 9 1/2 minutes left in the first half.
Garcia Lopez then made his best save on Revolorio, who outsprinted the Tigers’ defense and launched a left-to-right breakaway shot that Marshall’s keeper somehow managed to deflect off a dive at the 32-minute mark in the second half.
Eli Pedersen’s slow-roller just inched by Hamlet for a 5-0 Marshall lead only 4:07 into the second segment before Gay completed his hat trick for a six-goal lead at the 29:20 mark.
Gay accelerated by the defense, skipped over a diving Fairmont Area keeper, recollected the ball and tapped home a goal.
Argueta cashed in Hernandez’s third assist for the first of his three goals down the stretch, while Mason Graven chipped in one score.
Hamlet made six saves for the Cardinals before Jonathan Heinze added one in relief in the second half.
Fairmont Area (3-3-1) travels to Worthington on Tuesday night for a conference match, while Marshall (5-2) hits the road to Waseca on Saturday.
Fairmont 0-0– 0
MAR–Cesar Guzman Moreno (Jared Hernandez), 34:01.
MAR–Moo Gay (Hernandez), 33:12.
MAR–Gay (unassisted), 31:49.
MAR–Alex Lim-Bjork (own goal), 23:24.
MAR–Eli Pedersen (unassisted), 35:53.
MAR–Gay (unassisted), 29:20.
MAR–Isaiah Argueta (Hernandez), 26:18.
MAR–Argueta (Jasiel Flores), 20:25.
MAR–Mason Graven (unassisted), 17:22.
MAR–Argueta (unassisted), 11:11.
Shots on goal: Marshall 9-8–17; Fairmont Area 5-5–10. Corners: Marshall 5; Fairmont Area 2.
Saves: Roberto Garcia Lopez (MAR) 10; Thomas Hamlet (FMT) 6, Jonathan Heinze (FMT) 1.
Marshall 4, Fairmont Area 1 — Hannah Gordon produced two second-half goals to secure the Tigers’ 4-1 win over the Cardinals during Big South Conference play on Thursday at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.
Averi Schroeder and Elise Goode accounted for Marshall’s first-half scoring.
Kennedy Becker generated the Cardinals’ only goal off an assist from Abbie Simpson.
The Cardinals did draw the Tigers offsides seven times on the game, while the visitors did not commit one infraction.
Fairmont Area (1-6) plays host to Worthington at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kot Soccer Complex in Fairmont.
Grace Kotewa scored two goals to help Fairmont Area edge Marshall by a 3-2 decision during junior varsity action Thursday.
Kotewa converted a pass from Bethie Bennett into the Cardinals’ initial goal, Ellie Perkins delivered the second goal off a pass from Audrina Suckow, while Kotewa capped the point production via a goal from Addie Hoye.