Sept. 1 – HIRAM, Ohio – There is something about playing the Tomcats of Thiel College that Hiram Terrier senior women's soccer player Emily Syrjala enjoys. The forward tallied the second hat trick of her career as Hiram drubbed the Tomcats 7-0 on Friday evening at Charles A. Henry Field.
The hat trick by Syrjala marked the first by any Terrier since Sept. 2, 2015. Strangely enough, that also came against Thiel College. Stranger still….it was Syrjala who accomplished the feat. Nearly two years later (almost to the day) Syrjala was at it again.
The senior needed just four shots on goal to post her second-career hat trick and help lift the Terriers to their third-straight season-opening win under head coach Michael Cracas.
Her first tally came in the 28th minute. Already leading 1-0, the Terriers made a push into the Tomcat third where Isabel Ebel found Syrjala on a cross to push the advantage to 2-0.
Just six minutes later, Hannah Ward also found Syrjala streaking toward the net and placed a nice cross into the senior forward to help her notch her second goal of the night. The assist marked the first of Ward's career.
Syrjala would complete the hat trick in the 54th minute, once again on the receiving end of a good pass from Hannah Ward. This time she was able to finish in traffic, pushing the Hiram lead to 6-0.
The game marked the fourth time that Syrjala has suited up against the Tomcats. Overall, she has posted seven career goals in matchups with Thiel, while registering just 13 shots.
Despite the offensive explosion from the senior, Syrjala did not act alone in the victory. The Terriers saw eight different players notch at least one point in the matchup. However, unlike Syrjala, all of the others were first-time point scorers.
After Ebel earned her first-career point on Syrjala's first goal, Ward picked up her first two career assists, finding Syrjala for her second, and helping Ebel to her first-career marker in the 36th minute.
Leading 4-0 out of the break, Caroline Watson got in on the action in the 48th minute for her first career goal. The scoring was then rounded out by Sophie Bell, who tallied her first marker in the 56th minute to give the Terriers the 7-0 win.
Not to let the offense take all the credit for the win, the Terrier defense was near perfect, pitching a "shot-out" in the game. Hiram did not allow the Tomcats to record even one shot throughout the contest, marking the first time in recent memory that Hiram has completely blanked an opponent.
Overall, Hiram outshout Thiel 22-0 while also holding a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. Individually, Syrjala, Ward and Ebel all finished with three or more points.
In her first collegiate start, Ward tied the Terrier single-game mark for assists in a game, tallying three in the contest. The mark matches five other players in school history, including Claire Conner, who most recently tied the feat in 2008.
Hiram will be back in action on Sunday, Sept. 3 as they host the Titans of Westminster College in day three of the Hiram College Classic. The match is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.