Kayla Taylor scored a hat trick in the first half to lead the Wiley College women's soccer team to a 4-2 victory over Southwestern Assemblies of God University Tuesday at the Lear Park Athletic Complex.
The victory was coach Rafael Muniz De Araujo's first in his coaching career. Taylor scored with 27:33 and 12:36 left in the first half to give the Lady Wildcats a 2-0 lead. The Lady Lions of SAGU battled back and tied the game with goals from Mariah Sanchez and Laura Barba. Taylor's milestone goal put Wiley in front for good with less than two minutes in the first half.
"It was amazing," Taylor said about her performance. "I'm a striker and it's my job to score."
"She was on fire," De Araujo said. "The thing is the whole group is working together. We made open space for Kayla."
Stephanie Covarrubias (JR/Donna, Texas) gave the Lady Wildcats breathing room with a goal early in the second half. Tuesday's victory was the second straight year that Wiley has opened the season with a win. De Araujo was pleased with how his team started the season.
"We've just practiced for a week and half," De Araujo said. "The reaction for this kind of job today is really good. We had a lot of girls with chances to score and that's good. I'm looking forward to the next game and we are going to work really hard."
"SAGU has a good team," Taylor said. "We were able to do what coach wanted."
The Lady Wildcats (1-0) will face Saint Gregory's 2 p.m. Saturday at Lear Park Athletic Complex in Longview. The Lady Cavaliers crushed Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College 9-0 Tuesday and visit Texas College Friday.