FAIRMONT - It took Grant Becker only 2 minutes and 16 seconds to trigger a rare natural hat trick during Monday night's soccer game in Fairmont.
Becker reeled off three consecutive goals during the first 40 minutes before delivering a textbook assist to Oscar Svenfelt in the second half to engineer the Fairmont Area Cardinals' 5-0 non-league triumph over the Worthington Trojans at the Kot Soccer Complex.
"We built an early lead and had the chance to play everyone today," Fairmont Area mentor Jeff Kot said in reference to his lineup's 3-0 halftime lead.
DRIBBLE DRIVE — Fairmont Area defender Joe Washa (7) dribbles behind Worthington’s Victor Meza during nonconference soccer action Monday at Kot Soccer Complex in Fairmont. Photo by Leanna Becker
Becker drove the middle on an early breakaway opportunity before slightly veering right at the 35-yard mark. The Cardinal senior wing then beat Trojan goalkeeper Kody Honius to the right corner for an unassisted goal at the 37:44 juncture.
Becker later worked the offensive zone, found a seam and took Evan Ward's pass along the right wing. Becker drilled a right-to-left low liner to double the Cardinals' margin to 2-0 with 8:58 remaining before intermission.
Becker then completed his natural hat trick - three consecutive goals - by sprinting free on a breakaway chance. The senior co-captain reached the box before making a nifty cross-over move to his left before smacking home the unassisted goal at the 3:20 mark.
With Fairmont Area goalkeeper Matt Tennyson putting on a clinic by stopping all eight of Worthington's first-half shots on goal, Becker & Co. produced two second-half goals to put the game in the win column.
Brock Johnson hammered a left-wing shot off the Trojans' crossbar before tapping home his own rebound into the right corner to extend the Cardinals' edge to 4-0 with 32:25 remaining in the second half.
Becker then capped his four-point performance by driving the right end line before threading a perfect crossing pass to Oscar Svenfelt on the doorstep for an open goal. Svenfelt's tally widened Fairmont Area's lead to 5-0 with 18:29 left in regulation.
Tennyson displayed his sure-handed skills by denying Trojan midfielder Victor Meza on a blast from the point during the second half's early stages before stonewalling Worthington striker Mu Lar Taw on a blistering right-wing shot near the right post.
Tennyson generated 13 saves to earn the shutout for the Cardinals, who outshot the Trojans by a 20-13 margin. Honius made 15 stops for Worthington.
Fairmont (9-1, 3-0 South Central) travels to Waseca on Thursday.
FA - Grant Becker (unassisted), 37:44.
FA - Grant Becker (Evan Ward), 8:58.
FA - Grant Becker (unassisted), 3:20.
FA - Brock Johnson (unassisted), 32:25.
FA - Oscar Svenfelt (Grant Becker), 18:29.
Saves: Matt Tennyson (FA) 8-5-13; Kody Honius (W) 9-6-15.
Shots on goal: Fairmont Area 12-8-20; Worthington 8-5-13.
Worthington defeated Fairmont Area, 3-1, during junior varsity action Monday in Fairmont.
Joe Nordquist scored the Cardinals' lone goal on a first-half penalty kick.
Kyle Tromanhauser made 14 saves for Fairmont Area, which had 16 shots on goals.
Fairmont Area travels to Waseca on Thursday.