STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan women's soccer team got the 2018 season off to a hot start with a balanced 7-0 win over Thiel, Saturday afternoon, behind senior captain Emily Wieszczek's first career hat trick.
With the Lady Barons up 2-0, Wieszczek checked into the game and immediately made her presence known. Wieszczek took a shot just 20 seconds after checking and after that shot was saved, the captain regained control of the rebound and put it back in the net for the 3-0 Lady Baron lead.
Franciscan would hold the advantage as the two teams went into halftime.
The Lady Barons didn't let the short break cool them down as freshman Clare Burgess took a long lead pass from senior Elizabeth Dawyot after Franciscan regained possession at midfield and chipped the ball in over the Tomcat goalie for the 4-0 advantage. Sophomore Gracie Tillman pushed the lead to 5-0 with her first goal of the season.
With less than 25 minutes left in regulation, Wieszczek put the finishing touches on her hat trick with a pair of goals within three minutes of each other. Her second goal of the game came after the Lady Barons got control back after an offsides and worked the ball back down field. After a pair of passes through the midfield, Tillman led Wieszczek as she was running in the middle of the box and Wieszczek popped it over the goalie's reach to give Franciscan a 6-0 advantage. The senior's last goal came just three minutes later and she received a pass from sophomore Annie Beckman for her final goal of the game and to give Franciscan the 7-0 win.
Senior Elizabeth Dawyot got the scoring going in the first half as she collected her own rebound off of the keeper's hands and was able to shot it past the goalie for the 1-0 lead 20:01 into the game.
Just under five minutes later, the Lady Barons were awarded a free kick and Dawyot took the kick and placed the ball right where junior Emma Cross was making her run and Cross was able to put the ball in the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.
Franciscan out-shot the Tomcats 17-4, led by Wieszczek with five shots, four on goal and three goals. Senior keeper Sarah Luebking turned in her first clean sheet of the season as she made three saves in 90 minutes in net for the Lady Barons.
Franciscan returns to action on Wednesday as the Lady Barons host Bethany at 4pm.