Senior forward Neil Jones hadn’t scored a goal all season.
Thursday night at Harder Stadium however, he scored so many that he was showered by hats, well, figuratively at least.
After a melee induced by a corner kick, senior defender Tony Lochhead sent a cross from right to left and found senior forward Drew McAthy. McAthy then lobbed the ball from the left side of the field to the upper right corner of the goal. Jones headed it over Riverside goalkeeper Charles Alamo’s outstretched arms.
“I knew if I just hung out over by the back post, Drew would get it to me and it just got over the goalie’s head,” Jones said. “It was pretty easy.”
One easy goal is apparently all it takes to get an offensive threat such as Jones going. Jones’ goal in the 26th minute of the first half was what the Gauchos needed to put away the Highlanders en route to a 3-0 victory.
With the game still close at the beginning of the second half, Jones caught fire. In the 61st minute of play, Jones had the presence of mind to lob the ball over the retreating Riverside goalie’s outstretched arms from 40 yards away.
“We had to get [Jones] going tonight. We hit some good balls in the second half and it really got him going,” Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg said.
Jones clinched his first career hat trick on a solid pass from sophomore forward Tino Nu