Mackenzie Muir had yet to score more than two goals in a game this soccer season, but on Saturday at Joe Firment Stadium that emphatically changed.
The Avon Eagles junior, who scored twice in her team’s win over Midview Sept. 9, netted her first hat trick of the year Saturday in a dominating 7-0 victory over visiting Bay. It was just the second time in nine years the Eagles (3-1-3) had beaten the Rockets (2-1) head-to-head in what has traditionally been a very hard-fought series.
“We came out strong, we came out hungry for the ball and in the end that’s what got us our goals and got us our win,” Muir said. “Bay’s definitely a strong team, but I feel like we were more hungry and intense.”
Muir, playing her first varsity season after previously suiting up for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, wasted very little time in finding the back of the Rockets’ net, scoring all three of her goals in a four-minute span during the first half. Her second and third goals were around 20 seconds apart, meaning the stadium’s public address announcer had barely enough time to acknowledge one score before the other was recorded.
Her first goal came in the 19th minute off a feed from Olivia Pepe in front of the net. In the 23rd, Muir gained possession of the ball near the Eagles sideline, turned to face the Bay net and rifled a high-arcing shot 30-plus yards to the upper-right corner of the goal, over the hands of Rockets keeper Rory Marcis. Almost immediately after, her third score beat Marcis from a distance.
“I’ve always loved striking the ball from a distance,” Muir said. “To me, I think that’s kind of my specialty. I saw the goalie high up on her line and thought I’d just hit it and it just went in. It was exactly where I wanted to put it...I always ask the coaches if I can work on shooting from far away, work on PKs (penalty kicks), shooting stuff. I love shooting.”
Senior Nyah Snezek scored in the 37th off of a Muir assist, and the ever-aggressive Eagles took a 4-0 lead into halftime.
Ela Kisin (41st), Kate Zisk (70th) and Jane Rini (72nd) all scored in the second half to create the lopsided final and put a bow on a second straight shutout. They outshot the Rockets 11-4 on net, spending most of the evening in the attacking third of the field. Marcis and Avon keeper Casey Grant each made four saves.
Eagles coach Attila Csiszar thought his team played with purpose from the opening whistle.
“I think the girls were just ready,” he said. “Right off the rip, they were just hungry. We’ve been working on crosses and we’ve been working on attack. We’ve been working on just getting forward, connecting passes and today it worked in our favor. They really moved the ball.”
For Rockets coach Beth English, there wasn’t a lot to be gleaned from such a loss. Her team was only playing in its third contest, and had no scrimmages in the lead-up and minimal practice time before the regular season rolled around.
“Avon’s a good team and they played a good game,” she said. “They came out to crush Bay and they crushed us. They’ve had a preseason, and this is our third game. Nine days before our first game is when we made our teams. So we’re still trying to mesh. We’ll get there.”
Bay will wade back into Great Lakes Conference play this Saturday at Normandy at 8 p.m. The Eagles will return to Southwestern Conference action tonight at 7 at Westlake.
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