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LAKELAND, Fla.- The No. 3 Southeastern University women’s soccer team kicked off its six-match home stand with a resounding victory. The Fire defeated the Brewton-Parker College Barons 6-1 to win their sixth-straight match.
SEU out-shot BPC 34-1 in the full 90 minutes of play.
After opening up the match with six consecutive missed shots, the Fire were able to break down a back-loaded BPC defensive alignment in the 26th minute. Senior forward Uchenna Kanu finished a short cross from graduate forward Yulie Lopez to put SEU ahead 1-0.
Despite totaling nine more unanswered shots to end the half, Southeastern took just a 1-0 advantage into the locker room.
“We were creating a lot of good chances in the first half, we just weren’t finishing them,” shared head coach Randy Belli. “In the second half we came out, pinned them in their half and that’s what broke the deadlock.”
Kanu doubled the SEU advantage in the 60th minute with her second tally of the match to put the Fire ahead 1-0. The score was the Abia, Nigeria native’s 12th of the season.
The Baron’s answered in the 62nd minute with a 40 yard laser that found the back of the net off the foot of Mackenzie Stewart.
However, SEU retaliated, as Lopez successfully converted a penalty kick in the 67th minute after a hand ball by the Barons in the box.
Lopez was far from finished, as the West Palm Beach native netted another goal in the 86th minute off the dish from senior defender Siobhan Longmore to put SEU ahead 4-1.
In the 88th minute, senior midfielder Bania Duran put her name in the scoresheet with a header goal off the cross from Longmore.
Just 1:07 later, Lopez became the 15th player in the NAIA-era of program history to record a hat trick, finishing another cross off the service from Longmore, who finished the evening with a trio of helpers. Lopez notched the hat trick on her birthday.
“I literally give all the glory to God,” commented Lopez. “We were patient and attacked when it was smart to and finished when we could. It is a blessing to be out here with the girls playing the game I love.”
The Fire are back in action at the SEU Soccer Complex next Wednesday versus Hope International University. Match time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.