YUMA, Ariz. – Tuesday night, Cato Hom was unstoppable in a 5-1 win for the Arizona Western College women’s soccer team. Her second hat trick of the season lifted the third-ranked Lady Mats (12-0 overall, 12-0 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) past GateWay Community College (2-8-1 overall, 2-8-1 ACCAC). Both hat tricks were against GateWay
Arizona Western controlled the tempo and pace in the first half, and in the 16th minute, Hom gave AWC the lead. She took a short pass from Christiana Boateng, dribbled once and ripped a shot home. It was her sixth goal of the season.
After Hom's goal, GateWay stayed composed in the back and made it difficult for AWC to find any space for the next 20 minutes. Hom finally found some in the 36th minute. Karen Melendrez lobbed a ball into the front of the six-yard box, and Boateng shot it. The initial attempt was saved, but Hom powered home the rebound for a 2-0 lead.
Melendrez closed out the scoring in the first half with a monster free kick. She lofted a ball to the upper left-hand corner from 40 yards out. GateWay’s Abigail DeWeber partially deflected it but couldn’t keep it out of the net. Arizona Western led 3-0 at the half.
Early in the second half, Melendrez struck again. The sophomore from Yuma Catholic ran a give and go with Asare Vera on the right side of the field, and her shot from 10 yards was on target for her sixth goal of the season. AWC led 4-0 with 40 minutes left.
GateWay used a quick counterattack to get on the board in the 52nd minute. GWCC’s Allison Kolsrud carried the ball up the field and found Emily Hanratty running past the back line for a breakaway goal (her second goal of the season) to cut it to 4-1.
Hom wrapped up the scoring in the 79th minute. Boateng again found her near the top of the box, and Hom banged the ball in for her eighth goal of the season. The assist was Boateng’s third of the match and was a season high (tied her career high).
AWC’s 12-match winning streak is the longest in team history. The Lady Mats are headed to Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Saturday. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m.
Arizona Western College is one of the top community colleges in Arizona. The college boasts partnerships with all three state universities that include face-to-face classes in Yuma.