The women's soccer team took a 4-2 win over Sam Houston University Friday, March 13 at the Bill Stephens Track and Soccer Complex.
The Bears made a comeback from being down by one point early in the first half of the game when SHU player Landri Townsend put a goal in during the 14th minute.
Only nine minutes later, UCA leveled the score when Zoe Van de Cloot sent a cross to Taylor Webb, who then headed it to the feet of Emma Hawkins. The sophomore then put it into the net, beginning her soon-to-be hat-trick.
Then bringing the first half to an end, Hawkins made a solo run against SHU defenders to find the net once more, putting the Bears up 2-1 in the 45th minute.
After half-time concluded, Hawkins concluded her hat-trick after a deflected ball landed in her path, which she then took to dribble between two defenders and past the goalkeeper to slide into the back of the net, putting the Bears up 3-1 in the 65th minute.
In the 69th minute, Sophomore Laurel Landry took a shot from 30 yards out, flying past the keeper into the goal to give the Bears their fourth goal of the evening.
Shortly afterward, Jade Dewbre replied with a goal in the 73rd minute when she took a shot to make a recovery for Sam Houston's side.
"We played pretty well," Coach Jeremy Bishop said. "The energy and the effort levels were high. We created a lot of scoring opportunities which is great, we need to finish more of them, but as long as we are getting them we will score enough to get the results. And defensively we did a good job limiting their chances."
Although his team's defence was strong enough to limit SHU's chances on target, Bishop said the team was a challenging side to face.
"Their style kept us from being able to play the way we would like too," he said. "They were well organized and kept things tight in the middle third of the field. Which kept us from being able to hold possession like we prefer. But that opened up space behind them, so we adjusted and played more direct and were able to get scoring chances that way."
However, making the adjustments to the game is what he said won the game for UCA.
"Being able to make the adjustments needed based on what they were giving and taking away from us was the difference in the match. Reading the game and making the appropriate adjustments was key."
Making a noticeable name for herself in the match with a hat-trick, Emma Hawkins said what helped UCA win the game was her team's ability to be aggressive and take advantage of the game's opportunities.
"We handled their pressure well and were able to get out of those high pressure situations," she said. "We took advantage of the space Sam Houston defense allowed in behind, we did a good job on finding the over the top balls...I thought it was one of the better games we have played offensively, we came out aggressive and eager to score."
Furthermore, Hawkins said, "The energy was really high so that really helped to get us the win."
In response to her hat-trick, she said, "It felt really good to get a hattrick! I was happy to be able to finally find the back of the net."
"It seems every match Emma gets several scoring chances and this match was no different," Bishop said. "Her work rate and great passing from Taylor Webb, Abby Gibson, Zoe VandeCloot and others gave her good chances in this match and she put 3 of them away."
As for the takeaways from the game and going onto the upcoming matches, Bishop said, "Moving forward we just have to continue to bring the effort and focus and then continue to read the game to figure how to stop what they are doing offensively and how to break them down to get our opportunities in the attack."
"I think if we come out and attack like this every game, we will be very successful," Hawkins said.