FAIRMONT - According to Waseca head coach Terry Nafe, Davis Dahlberg has not scored many goals this season. Try telling that to the Fairmont Area Cardinals.
The junior scorched the nets for a hattrick to help the Bluejays to a 7-2 South Central Conference victory on Monday night at Kot Soccer Complex in Fairmont.
"Our leading scorer (Christian Castro) is out with an injury, and Cesar Gallegos has scored 11 goals for us this season. But Davis is more of a midfield, defensive player and doesn't get a chance to score very often," said Nafe. "I think those goals tonight were his fourth, fifth and sixth on the season."
CHALLENGE — Fairmont Area defender Leyton Becker (4) challenges Waseca forward John Lewer (left) for control of the soccer ball during South Central Conference action Monday night in Fairmont. The Cardinals’ Derek Hunwardsen (back left) and Henrique Marquez (21) watch the action. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Dahlberg and his teammates jumped on the Cardinals early, with John Lewer blasting a point blank shot into the left corner of the net just 1 minute and 46 seconds into the game.
Then Dahlberg got going, netting three straight goals in a span of 2:26.
The first of the junior's three scores came off a centering pass from Luis Gonzales at the 29:13 mark, before Dahlberg controlled a pass from Tyler Hyatt and split two defenders to make it 3-0 at 27:25.
Dahlberg completed his hattrick on a penalty kick after being pushed inside the goalie box at 26:47 to give the Bluejays a 4-0 lead.
"In the first half, we were just playing reaction soccer. Something would happen, and instead of anticipating the play or being where we should be to stop a pass, we reacted after they had the ball," said Fairmont Area head coach Jeff Kot.
The Bluejays (10-0-1) who had 10 shots on net in the first half, kept attacking, with Carlos Frias rocketing a rebound off a Gallegos shot into the net for a 5-0 lead with 4:49 remaining in the half.
The Cardinals, who recorded just two shots on net in the opening half, were able to generate some offense of their own offense shortly into the second half.
Henrique Marquez cut down the middle of the field and was able to control a tipped pass just long enough at the top of the penalty box to sneak a shot into the net for the Cardinals' first score.
"We actually took what they were doing to us in the first half and flipped it around on them for that first goal," said Kot. "We were letting them have too much time at the top of the circle, and that's how they scored. So we talked and decided to do the same thing, and at almost two minutes into the half we had a goal."
The Bluejays responded quickly, with Gallegos taking a pass from right wing Gabriel Arreguin for a score at the 37:10 mark to keep their lead at 6-1.
Lewer then tallied his second goal of the game with a laser that just snuck inside the far post with 32:56 left.
Joe Nordquist secured the second Cardinal goal with a penalty kick with 2:32 left in the game.
"The second half was a much better half for us," said Kot. "Henrique asked to be moved to stopper and he did a great job of controlling the front of the net and getting plays started for us. But we just played better against a good team in the second half."
The Cardinals fired three shots on net in the second half - five in the game - while Trason Arens made seven saves in the game.
Josh Metzdorff blocked three of Fairmont Area's shots and teammate Kline Barke made one save.
Fairmont Area (2-11, 1-6 SCC) travels to Mankato Loyola today for a 5 p.m. conference game.
Fairmont Area 0-2-2
W - John Lewer (unassisted), 38:12.
W - Davis Dahlberg (Luis Gonzales), 29:13.
W - Dahlberg (Tyler Hyatt), 27:25.
W - Dahlberg penalty kick, 26:47.
W - Carlos Frias (unassisted), 4:49.
FA - Henrique Marquez (unassisted), 38:05.
W - Cesar Gallegos (Gabriel Arreguin), 37:10.
W - Lewer (unassisted), 32:56.
FA - Joe Nordquist penalty kick, 2:32.
Shots on goal: Waseca 10-4-14; Fairmont Area 2-3-5.
Saves: Trason Arens (FA) 5-2-7; Josh Metzdorff (W) 2-1-3; Kline Barke (W) 0-1-1.
Waseca downed Fairmont Area, 5-1, in junior varsity action Monday in Fairmont.
Drew Anderson netted the lone Cardinal goal on a free kick from midfield in the second half. Jarrod Daniel faked a kick as Anderson's boot bounced in front of the Waseca goalie, allowing the ball to skid in for the score.
Fairmont had 17 shots on goal, while Anderson made 12 saves in the opening half.
Mankato West downed Fairmont Area, 8-0, during C-squad action Monday in Mankato.
Thomas Havnen and Tony Joseph combined between the pipes to make 12 saves for the Cardinals.
Fairmont Area plays in the Albert Lea tournament at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.
Fairmont Area 1, Faribault 0 - Brooklyn Leichtnam converted striker Sierra Schultz's assist into the non-league game's only goal on Monday to propel the Cardinals to a 1-0 victory over the Falcons in Faribault.
Schultz lofted a first-half corner kick toward the Faribault goal before Leichtnam leaped and headed the ball into the twine.
Jess Koskovich and Alex Christianson combined on a shutout for Fairmont Area. Koskovich tallied two saves during first-half action, while Christianson turned away six second-half shots.
Faribault goalie Anna Marquard made 26 saves.
Fairmont Area (5-4-2, 2-2-2 South Central) plays host to Mankato Loyola at 7 p.m. tonight in Fairmont.