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Westminster soccer: Amit Hefer's hat trick leads Griffins past Carroll College

Westminster men's soccer hosted Carroll College in an exhibition game on Sunday. Three first-half goals saw the Griffins through with a win over the Fighting Saints.

Westminster controlled the game in the first half, outshooting the Saints, 7-2. Senior goalkeeper Max Medley got a rare assist in the seventh minute. Medley's punt got by the Carroll defenders, and sophomore Amit Hefer ran on to the bouncing ball and scored, sliding the ball under the rushing goalkeeper. Hefer scored again in the 24th minute when a missed clearance fell to his feet around the penalty mark. Hefer calmly beat the next defender and scored, placing the ball in the right-side net. He scored again in the 40th minute from six yards out, giving the Griffins a 3-0 lead.

Carroll College head coach Doug Mello made some adjustments at halftime, and the Fighting Saints were more organized defensively and created a couple of more chances during the second half. The Griffin defense bent but did not break, allowing eight shots. Sophomore goalkeeper Will Desantis made four saves to preserve the shutout. Westminster took five shots but was unable to beat the second-half goalkeeper.

"This was a very important game for us as it was our final tune-up going into next weekend when games will count toward our record," head coach Josh Pittman remarked. "Getting a result against a solid team like Carroll College gives us positive momentum going into the next games."

Hefer was perfect, shooting three and scoring three. Brody Nelson led the team with four shots, two on goal, and Danny Darrelli took two shots and put both on target.

The defense and goalkeepers earned the shutout after facing 10 shots, five on goal, five corners and several free kicks.

Westminster looked comfortable on the ball in possession and showed it has players who can get in behind as a goal scoring threat. The men's soccer team travels to Nampa, Idaho, next weekend and will play Saint Martin's and Northwest Nazarene.