CLINTON – Junior midfielder Javier Ramirez netted a hat trick to lead the fifth-ranked Ashford men’s soccer team past Bellevue (Neb.) 5-1 on Saturday at Ashford’s South Campus field.
For Ramirez, it marked his second career three-goal game and ran his season total to seven.
The Saints took a lead just 70 seconds into the match when Ramirez broke into the penalty box and scored on a feed from freshman Daniel Dreier. The assist was Dreier’s fourth of the season.
Senior Lucas Almeida added a penalty-kick goal 14 minutes later, but the Saints took just a one-goal lead to the locker room at halftime after Bellevue scored in the 29th minute.
Although Bellevue (3-6) took back some momentum late in the half, the rout was on for Ashford in the second half.
Mark Hiller headed in a goal during the 50th minute off a Luiz Mota corner kick before Ramirez put away a pair of markers in the 63rd minute of action to close out the Bruins. Ramirez’s first goal went unassisted, while Mota claimed the point on the hat-trick goal.
Despite the lopsided score, the Saints (7-2-1) enjoyed just a 15-14 advantage in shots, but they scored on five of their six shots on goal. Ashford senior goalkeeper Patrick Kinsella turned away seven BU shot attempts.
Ashford travels to Jamestown, N.D. next weekend for a pair of contests. The Saints face the University of Great Falls (Mont.) on Saturday before battling Jamestown on Sunday.