A hat trick by junior midfielder Flavio Guzman lifted the No. 3 Midwestern State men's soccer team to a 4-1 victory over Texas A&M International in a physical match that consisted of 11 yellow cards and one red card Thursday evening at Dustdevil Soccer Field in Laredo.
"We're happy with the result," said head coach Doug Elder. "It's always a tough place to play and we had been struggling on the road. It was good to get out and find ourselves. With all the cards that were called, we were able to push through it and keep our composure."
Guzman highlighted the night for the Mustangs with the team's second hat trick in as many matches after senior forward Albert Rodriguez recorded one Saturday in a 7-0 win against Dallas Baptist.
"Flavio had a great second half, not just the goals but the way he played," Elder said. "He was making plays and running harder than anyone. He was putting himself in a position to score which is half the battle."
The scoring began early for Midwestern State (11-0-1) with Guzman finding the net off a cross from the end line from senior defender Ben Clarvis to put the Mustangs up 1-0 in the 12th minute.
In the second half, Texas A&M International (5-8-1) evened the contest in the early stages of the period with freshman midfielder Connor Hogg delivering a goal from just outside the six-yard box for a 1-1 score in the 50th minute.
Guzman would put the Mustangs ahead for good in the 69th minute with a shot a few yards outside of the box towards the right post for a 2-1 MSU advantage.
After a red card was issued to TAMIU junior midfielder Kevin Hernandez, Rodriguez netted his team-best 12th goal of the season in the 82nd minute with junior midfielder Gabriel Cavalcante finding Rodriguez for a shot 25 yards out to give the Mustangs a comfortable 3-1 cushion.
Guzman ended the scoring for the Mustangs just two minutes later with Cavalcante recording his second assist of the night on Guzman's third score in the final minutes.
"The guys responded in the second half," Elder said. "We started out OK in the first 15 minutes. We created a chance or two and finally scored. Then we stopped. I was a little disappointed in the way we ended the half."
Midwestern State outshot TAMIU 14-5 and 5-3 in shots on goal. Guzman led the Mustangs with seven shots, placing three on goal, while Rodriguez added four shots with two on target.
Junior goalkeeper Brice Gardner (2-0-0) earned the win for the Mustangs, allowing the one goal while collecting two saves in 90 minutes of action.
Midwestern State returns to MSU Soccer Field Monday when the Mustangs play host to Rogers State (Okla.) at 5 p.m.