By Matt Green
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Loren Cate produced a hat trick – including a goal less than two minutes into the game – as Flagler College posted a 4-0 victory over Shorter's Lady Hawks in each team's season opener at the Flagler Kick-Off Tournament on Thursday night.
Cate put the Saints (1-0) up 1-0 on a breakaway goal with 1:58 gone in the match and Shorter was never able to recover. Cate added a second goal in the 30th minute to extend Flagler's lead to 2-0 heading into halftime, then completed her hat trick in the 64th minute, taking a cross from teammate Marisa Strawn and beating Shorter keeper Taylor Hays for a 3-0 advantage.
Katie Kaim's tap in in the 79th minute closed out the scoring for the tournament hosts, who have been picked as one of the favorites to win the competitive NCAA Division II Peach Belt Conference.
The Lady Hawks, playing their first game as an NCAA Division II affiliate, managed eight shots on the night, four of which came off the foot off junior standout Aline Bez Tamiosso. Shorter (0-1) put four shots on frame, but Flagler goalie Casey Merson was up to the task each time, stopping all four attempts to secure a clean sheet in her first outing of 2012.
Hays was busy in goal for Shorter, making eight saves to keep the Lady Hawks relatively close for the first two-thirds of the match. Tamiosso, Diamond Davis, Brandi Greenwald and Jessica Wright each put shots on target for Shorter in the loss.
The Lady Hawks played without starting midfielder Cintia Lamas, who is nursing an ankle injury sustained during Shorter's final exhibition contest last week. Shorter is also without the services of senior Mary Kate Lollar, who hopes to be back soon after suffering a quadriceps injury stemming from her recovery from a torn ACL last season.
Flagler held a 24-8 advantage in shots and earned eight corner kicks to Shorter's one. The Saints assisted on each of their four goals.
The Lady Hawks close out the Flagler Kick-Off Classic on Saturday at 1 pm against Palm Beach Atlantic. Live stats are available on the Flagler College Athletics site.