What's better than a hat trick?
How about two hat tricks in the same match?
Sophomore Kayla Edwards exploded for a breakout performance, fellow sophomore Aayliah Lewis came through with another star-studded match and the Lady Hornets buzzed around the soccer field from the opening whistle for a huge first half advantage on its' way to a convincing 7-0 SWAC victory at the ASU Soccer Complex on Friday night.
The Lady Hornets (4-9 overall, 1-3 SWAC) started fast and furious displaying a chock full of energy and jumped out to a 6-0 lead by the time halftime had arrived.
It began when junior Shelbi Vienna-Hallam sped ahead of the pack and zipped a crossing pass to a streaking Lewis, who came along on the far side of the net and poked it into the corner of the net in the fifth minute.
Less than a minute later, Edwards drove the ball from 10 yards out and went high to beat the keeper on an assist from Lewis.
Both Lewis and Edwards were just getting started though.
Lewis, who entered as the conference leader in points with 13, bolted down the far side of the field to receive a pass from Vienna-Hallam. Lewis crossed back to Vienna-Hallam, who found Edwards in front of the goal and in a fortuitous position. Edwards took full advantage and finished for her second strike.
Lewis added another score when she boomed it through the near side corner of the net in the 29th minute on a crossing find from Vienna-Hallam.
Vienna-Hallam staked her claim high up atop the all-time records in school history with her third assist. The total ranks second all-time in school history for most helpers in a match. Only Anastasia McCleary has had most assists in a match. McCleary put up four assists against Judson College on September 30, 2012.
Edwards scored again in the 27th minute to complete the hat trick while Lewis would join her in that company during the 39th minute.
Of the seven hat tricks in Lady Hornets' history, Lewis has accomplished the feat four times in her young career while it is the first time for Edwards. Lewis has had hat tricks against Alcorn State, USC Beaufort and Talladega College. She last accomplished it just about one year ago on October 4 of last year. India Pleasant and Kiara Fairman are the only other ASU players to produce three goals in one game.
Among other school records, Lewis' seven points in a match tied the all-time record with Pleasant. It was new personal single-game career-high for Lewis. The seven goals scored also ranked tied for second all-time for the team.
In the second half, Kaedi Walther scored her first goal of the season and third of her career. Alabama State used all three of their goalkeepers on their roster in the match as well with Kylee Hathaway playing the entire first half and then Courtney Ledonne and Zaria Maynard splitting time in the second half to combine for the team shutout.
It was just the sort of performance that ASU coach Jodie Smith had been seeking—a total team effort.
"I was pleased to see us find our rhythm tonight," coach Smith said. "Our organization and communication was good. We were able to get everybody involved and put forth a good, complete team win. We came out in warm ups crisp and that momentum carried forward into the match. It was definitely a breakout game for Kayla [Edwards] and Aaliyah [Lewis] continues to produce at a great rate. We need more of that going forward."
The Lady Lions fell to 1-13 overall and 0-5 in the SWAC.
Next, Alabama State will be home on Sunday at 1 p.m. for another SWAC tilt against Grambling State.