Cobb's hat trick is key to MOC women's win
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 7, 2004 1:56 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College's Melanie Cobb hurried to basketball practice after performing for the women's soccer team Wednesday at Trojan Field against Coker (S.C.)
She said she "didn't have to do much," at hoops practice. The time to rest was well-deserved.
Cobb turned in her fourth hat trick (three goals) of the season -- scoring all three in the first half -- as Mount Olive rolled to a 7-0 win.
The victory improved the Trojans (10-2-0 overall) to 5-2-0 in Carolinas/Virginia Athletic Conference play. The five CVAC wins breaks a school record for the nine-year old women's soccer program.
Cobb, who ranks in the top 10 in the nation in goals and points per game, now has 20 goals on the season.
She gives all the credit to her teammates.
"This are some really good girls out here, and I think we feed off of each other," Cobb said.
Cobb certainly wasn't alone in Wednesday's win.
Mount Olive senior goalie Heather Ressler preserved her fifth shutout of the season in the final minute -- charging off of the line to stop a breakaway chance by Coker's Andrea Bustamante. Ressler's five shutouts eclipses her own single-season record set as a freshman in 2001.
The Trojans outshot the Cobras 33-3 in the match, including 22 shots in the first half, as Mount Olive's five midfielders controlled the center of the field and consistently worked forward. Accurate passing proved to be key on every Mount Olive goal on Wednesday, especially the first two.
With 24 minutes left in the half, Kate Painter's throw-in from the left sideline found Emily Escolas, who took a dribble and crossed to Lauren Slattum on the right wing. Slattum quickly knocked a pass into Cobb as the sophomore forward posted the first of her three goals.
Five minutes later, Gina Dos Santos passed to Slattum, who dished a low cross from the right to Escolas inside the box. Running onto the pass, Escolas tallied her seventh goal of the season past a defenseless Coker goalie. All three touches proved to be one-touch efforts.
Mount Olive coach Chris Shaw was especially pleased with his team's passing.
"Coker was trying to keep things really tight and congest things, which allowed us to use the wide spaces more," Shaw said. "We usually have a one-up advantage in the midfield. And I think we have one of the more talented midfields of the teams that we've played. They are the key to our success."
Cobb scored her final two goals on assists from Kate Painter and Heidi Philip, who is tied for third in the nation in assists.
In the second half, Dos Santos got her seventh goal, while Slattum posted her fourth tally. April Jacobs assisted Dos Santos' goal and capped the Trojans' scoring with one of her own with less than a minute left.
In the second half, Shaw was able to give a number of his starters a rest as the reserves continued to outplay the winless Cobras. Jessica Steffne and Emily Anthony added assists off of the bench for Mount Olive, who looks to stay unbeaten at home on Saturday against Limestone (4-6-0, 1-3-0).
Coker College 0 0 -- 0
Mount Olive 4 3 -- 7
MOC -- Cobb (Slattum assist) 23:51
MOC -- Escolas (Slattum, Dos Santos assist) 29:44
MOC -- Cobb (Painter assist) 35:50
MOC -- Cobb (Philip assist) 43:18
MOC -- Dos Santos (Jacobs assist) 53:39
MOC -- Slattum (Steffne assist) 74:15
MOC -- Jacobs (Anthony assist) 89:27
3 Shots 33
0 Corner kicks 8
1 Offsides 0
7 Fouls 12
Saves -- Coker -- Stewart 10; Winn 5. MOC -- Ressler 2.
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