Upper Dublin flies past Springfield Montco

UPPER DUBLIN – It’s not supposed to be this easy when facing a conference opponent.

But on Friday afternoon at its home SPARK Fields, the Upper Dublin (6-1-0, 6-3-0) girls soccer team took it to visiting Springfield Montco (3-3-1, 4-3-1), 5-0, sending the Spartans home dazed and confused.

Freshman Cardinal Victoria Hoffner stole the show by scoring a hat trick after two goals in the first half within two minutes of each other, and a screamer in the second half.

“Obviously it’s great when you have a girl step up and put the team on her shoulders and score three goals,’ UD coach John Topper said. “I thought Tori did a great job and I thought it was a complete team effort today and it’s just nice to finish off a week with nine points in the league.’

The Cardinals took flight within the early stages of the Suburban One League American Conference clash, not wasting any time during cool playing conditions.

The game not even being 10 minutes old, UD midfielder Alexis Schneider dribbled her way between a couple Springfield defenders and spotted teammate Rebecca Watson open down the right side.

Schneider slotted a pass towards Watson, who after a couple touches unleashed a shot that beat Spartan net minder Katie Fitzpatrick for the first goal of the game.

UD came close to doubling its lead when a minute later Julie Cross galloped goalward, but her touch let her down and Fitzpatrick comfortably gobbled up the escaping ball.

Following that initial save, Fitzpatrick would continue to find herself busy between the pipes throughout the course of the game.

The Springfield goalie made 22 stops on the day, compared to just nine of UD keepers Alissa Klammer and second half sub Katherine McKee.

In the 35th minute, Upper Dublin’s Erin Threlfell sent a dangerous ball between the back line of the Springfield defense and Fitzpatrick that found Hoffner waiting at the back end of the play for an easy finish to make it 2-0.

Then, with three minutes remaining in the half, Hoffner crashed the net and claimed her second tally after Fitzpatrick’s save on Rebecca Watson’s shot had too much sting on it and the Spartans trailed 3-0 after one half.

In the second half, Hoffner capped off her hat trick with a left-footed missile up and over Fitzpatrick to make it 4-0 in the 67th minute.

Although it looked like the freshman might have been crossing the ball to Cross at the center of the field, the left winger made it clear she was going for goal.

“I was trying to shoot,’ Hoffner quipped.

And how did she react after scoring a hat trick on a team with no other freshmen and just three sophomores?

“It feels good, it’s nice.’

The Cardinals would put the final nail in the coffin in the 68th minute thanks to Cross.

This time, Hoffner found her teammate in the box with an angled service. Fitzpatrick pushed off her line to clear the ball, but a collision with Cross saw the effort fall to the feet of the striker for a tap-in.

“I would say when we come here, we’re usually intimidated,’ Springfield coach Suzette Wolf explained.

“They’ve been a really strong program for a lot of years. This is the year we could be competitive with them and we were competitive with them, but we gave up some really sloppy goals in the beginning and once you do that you find yourself playing catch up … It changes the game.’

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