SHEPHERDSTOWN, W. Va. – Senior forward Chris McLaughlin (Hollis, N.Y.) scored three goals to lead Felician University to a 5-2 non-conference men's soccer victory over host Shepherd University on Saturday afternoon on the Shepherd campus.
Sophomore Leo Yang (Seoul, South Korea) recorded a goal and an assist and freshman Diego Duffort (Madrid, Spain) added his first NCAA score for Felician (1-3). Golden Falcon redshirt freshman goalkeeper Alex Ficarra (Phillipsburg, N.J.) made a season-high 10 saves to earn his first collegiate win.
Felician produced its highest offensive output in nearly eight years. McLaughlin notched his third collegiate multi-goal game and first hat trick. The previous Golden Falcon male to tally three goals in a game was Corey Telfer during a 4-3 overtime victory at Nyack College on Sept. 24, 2014.
The game began poorly for the visitors, as Shepherd junior Carlos Castillo (Colombia) found the back of the Felician net in the eighth minute of action. But the Golden Falcons were awarded a penalty kick with 14:50 gone by, which McLaughlin converted, and transfer Guillermo Sanchez Duque (Malaga, Spain) set up Duffort in the 30th minute to put Felician ahead to stay.
The Golden Falcons took full control by bookending the halftime break with scores. With 12 ticks remaining on the first period game clock, Yang buried a 25-yard direct kick into the upper left corner of the goal, sending Felician into intermission ahead, 3-1. After Felician saw two shots blocked by Ram defenders early in the second half, Yang played a ball to an open McLaughlin, who finished three minutes, 16 seconds, after the game re-started.
The only other blemish on Ficarra's line came on Ryan Bowman's (Sharpsburg, Md.) unassisted marker with 22:54 to go. Following some back and forth offensive action, McLaughlin completed the hat trick and secured his team's triumph with 7:34 remaining.
Felician owned edges of 19-17 in shots and 8-3 in corner kicks. The Golden Falcons successfully defended nine shots (five on frame) from Shepherd sophomore striker Steven Choque (Fairfax, Va.). Ram keeper Billy Wood (Williamsport, Md.) stopped five shots. Shepherd fell to 1-4.
Felician scored five goals for the first time since Oct. 25, 2011 (5-1 home win over Caldwell University) and for the first time on the road since Oct. 13, 2007 (5-1 win at Chestnut Hill College).
Felician faces six idle days before opening the year's Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action at nationally-ranked Wilmington (Del.) University on Sept. 21 in Newark, Del.