Anderson’s Hat Trick Propels Tigers to Win in Season Finale

Benjamin J Veshi

The Hargrave Tigers defended Simpson Parade Field on Tuesday afternoon as they defeated rival, Fork Union Military Academy, 3-1 to close out their season. The win improved the Tigers’ record to 3-12-3 as they wrapped up the 2019 campaign.

Hargrave opened up the scoring early in the match as senior, Nathan Anderson, took the ball off a Fork Union defender into the penalty area and scorched one by the keeper in the fourth minute, giving the Tigers the early advantage. In the 21st minute, junior, Xiao ZhengNan (who scored Hargrave’s lone goal in last week’s match against Fork Union) curved a ball deep past the Fork Union defenders, finding a sprinting Anderson who finished near side and gave Hargrave a 2-0 lead.

In the waning minutes of the first half, senior, Andrew Guarino, placed a beautiful through ball to Anderson, who did the rest, connecting with the back of the net for the third time in the first half to complete the hat trick. Heading into halftime, the Tigers held a 3-0 lead. “We (coaches) were very pleased with our guys coming out and sticking to the game plan from the opening kick-off,” stated Head Coach Jeremy Eubank. “We wanted to pressure high, which starts with our center forward to our center midfielders, to our wingers and so on. As a result, we were able to score three first half goals.”

The Tigers were able to maintain their same pressure throughout the second half which resulted in numerous chances on goal (five shots on goal in the second half), including a near finish by senior, Daniel Pierce, who broke away from two Fork Union defenders and missed the goal by mere inches. Senior, Dimitri Clinton was incredible between the posts in goal as he collected 12 saves while only giving up one goal.

“It was a great way to end our season with a victory in a rivalry game. More importantly, we had a complete performance today and our seniors went out with a victory,” remarked Eubank. “Our underclassmen also got some varsity experience and we are looking forward to next season. We’ve had a number of underclassmen gain valuable playing experience this season and some even shifted into starting roles (as the season went on). The future looks bright for Hargrave Soccer as we move into the off-season!”

Team 1H 2H FT
Hargrave 3 0 3
Fork Union 0 1 1

Shots – Hargrave – 15 (12 shots on goal)
Goals – Hargrave – 4′ Anderson (Unassisted); 21′ Anderson (Assisted by ZhengNan); 35′ Anderson (Assisted by Guarino)
Goals – Fork Union – 48′ #5 (Unassisted)
Saves – Hargrave – Clinton: 12 Saves