LITTLE ROCK – Senior Ariel Galletti may not have started the first half of UALR’s season opener, but she sure finished it.
Galletti, who came off the bench with 20 minutes to go in the first half, scored three goals in a five-minute span as the Trojans rolled over Chicago State 7-0 at the Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex on Friday night.
Galletti’s hat trick was the first of her college career, and she moved up to 11th all-time at UALR with 34 career points thanks to her three-goal effort. The senior, who was named to the All-Sun Belt Second Team last season, scored in the 36th, 37th and 41st minutes. Her hat trick was the first at UALR since Christina Veasley scored three goals against Denver in October 2009.
The Trojans (1-0) were already ahead three goals on the Cougars (0-1) when Galletti came into the game, and it didn’t take the team long to get on the board. Freshman Louise Kallin struck first in the 10th minute, knocking home a through ball from fellow freshman Fali Garuba. Kallin finished the first half with a goal and two assists.
UALR’s second goal came just 34 seconds after its first as Hayley Fowle blasted a perfect Kallin pass around the Chicago State goaltender. Fowle missed her entire first season in 2013 after suffering an injury in the preseason, and her impact was felt just 10 minutes into this year.
Sophomore Mikayla Uyokpeyi made it 3-0 in the 14th minute, launching a shot from outside the penalty box that went off the goalkeeper’s hands, off the crossbar, off the goalkeeper’s back and into the net.
The scoring pace settled for a bit, but it picked up rapidly when Galletti game into the contest. In the 36th minute, she made a beautiful run down the left side of the field, splitting two Cougars defenders inside and striking the ball to the short side of the net.
Less than a minute after that, Galletti’s second goal came off a perfect cross by Uyokpeyi. Her ball floated into the top of the penalty box, and Galletti beat the Chicago State goalkeeper to the spot. She floated the ball over the diving goalkeeper and into the net for a 5-0 lead.
Four minutes later, she completed the hat trick when Kallin had a run down the right side of the field. Galletti was wide open in the box, and Kallin found her for the easy putaway.
The Trojans’ lone goal of the second half came from Garuba on a shot from the top of the box in the 59th minute. UALR’s seven goals were its highest total since defeating UAPB by a 9-0 scoreline in August 2006.
UALR’s goaltenders had a relatively calm night, with starter Sara Cavanagh playing the first 45 minutes and making only one save. Freshman Bre Ilkuf finished off the night, making two saves in the second half as the pair combined for the shutout.
UALR took eight corner kicks to the Cougars’ three, and the team also took 28 total shots while Chicago State had only four.
The game was Chicago State’s first ever as a program. UALR now begins the season 1-0 for the second consecutive year, and Friday night saw the team’s first ever win against a current team in the Western Athletic Conference.
UALR is right back in action on Sunday morning, taking on Southern at 11 a.m. at the Coleman Sports & Recreation Complex.