Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
LANCASTER, Pa. - It was the Leah Magee show in Friday's season opener for the Pacific Lutheran University women's soccer team with the sophomore netting a hat-trick in the Lutes' 3-0 rout of host Franklin & Marshall College.
Magee got the Lutes (1-0) rolling early, finding the back of the net in the third minute off a corner kick from Liz Griffith. Machaela Graddy fed Magee for her second tally in the 57th minute before scoring unassisted in the 64th minute for the trifecta.
"You couldn't ask for a better opening day," said Head Coach Seth Spidahl. "We talked in the beginning of the game about we don't know who's going to be the star and everyone has to be ready. I'm happy for Leah, it was kind of out of nowhere scoring three goals all in a row but the support of the team was a big reason for that success."
The Lutes enjoyed a 15-5 edge in shots over the Diplomats (0-1), including a seven to one edge in shots on frame.
Natalie Robinson made her collegiate debut between the posts, making one save in 90 minutes of work to collect the shutout. The Diplomats' Gabby Panayotakis absorbed the loss, making seven saves on the afternoon.
"I was very happy with our defending. I think Kristi Kaneta, Brianna Hunting, and Natalie Robinson filled in for (Kelly White and Takara Mitsui) and did a great job. Sarah Burns stepped up and did a great job in her first career start. I was really happy for the junior class, they're going to have to play some meaningful minutes this year so it was a good experience game for them."
The Lutes return to the pitch tomorrow, facing second-ranked Messiah College at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time).
"F&M was a good opponent. They pressed high and were physical and aggressive. Tomorrow's going to be a much bigger test. It's the reason we came here to play at one of the most successful Division III program's in the nation so we're excited for that opportunity but we're going to enjoy this tonight."