San Antonio – St. Mary’s University freshman midfielder Jamey Coronado sat in bed awake late Saturday night, unable to shake the memory of the Rattlers’ season-opening loss from the day before.
Angry and frustrated, all she wanted was to get back on the field.
“I was like, ‘OK. I’m going to get a goal this game,'” she said of the pending contest, Sunday’s game against Southwestern Oklahoma State University. “I was ready to score.”
What she wasn’t prepared for was just how many times she would actually find the net.
Coming off the bench Sunday, Coronado scored three goals in the Rattlers’ 3-1 home victory over Southwestern Oklahoma State, becoming the first freshman ever to record a hat trick for the Rattlers.
It was just the eighth hat trick in the program’s history and the first since Deann Lopez accomplished the feat on Sept. 21, 2004. Coronado, a San Antonio native who graduated from Marshall High School, was one goal shy of the school record for most goals in a game (four), set by Kelly Felts in 2004.
“Three goals was way more than I expected,” Coronado said with a sheepish grin after the Rattlers finished the St. Mary’s Invitational with a 1-1 mark. “I don’t know how it happened, but it did.”
Half-joking, coach Corwyn Ritch said he expects Coronado to maintain the scoring pace she has established two games into her career.
“She set the bar pretty high,” he said. “It just bodes well for the team. It’s about creating the chances.”
Coronado’s first goal put St. Mary’s up 1-0 with 14:25 left in the first half – and it came less than a minute after being substituted into the game.
Assisted by freshman midfielder Amanda Cardoza, Coronado collected the ball about 10 yards away from the net and fired a dead-on strike that found the left the corner.
Her second goal also found the left corner, as she took a crossing pass and fired into the net. It gave the Rattlers a 2-0 lead, a seemingly comfortable cushion with 18:31 left to play.
But Southwestern Oklahoma State scored moments later, meaning the Rattlers would need at least one more goal to seal the deal.
Coronado delivered, controlling a tipped ball and firing a shot over the head of Southwestern Oklahoma State goaltender Chelsey Dodd for her third goal.
Coronado finished with five shots, all of which were on goal. Both misses required a full-bodied stretch from Dodd to prevent the goal.
Coronado’s only concern as she goes to bed tonight – now what for an encore?
“Everyone’s telling me they expect three goals from me every game,” she said, laughing. “I’m like, I’m going to try.'”