A hat trick from Braeden Pryor gave Westmont Men’s Soccer (6-6-2, 6-1 PacWest) its sixth win in the last seven games. The 3-0 victory over Academy of Art (2-10-4, 2-5-1) was played on Monday afternoon at Thorrington Field.
With three games remaining in the PacWest Conference schedule, the Warriors remain in a tie with Point Loma Nazarene for first place in the standings with 18 points apiece.
The leaders are three points ahead of third-place Hawai’i Hilo (5-3, 8-6) and five points ahead of Dominican (4-2-1, 6-5-3) who is in fourth.
Pryor recorded his first goal with one second remaining in the first half. The senior forward received the ball near the left touchline and dribbled toward the goal with the clock counting down.
Beating three defenders, Pryor fired from the top of the six-yard box, sending the ball past the goalkeeper who was charging toward him.
The second goal came in the 68th minute. Matthew Morgan threw the ball in from the left touchline, finding Michael Stull. Stull dribbled past his defender and down the line.
Near the end line, he sent a pass along the ground across the face of the goal. Pryor, who was running toward the goal, slid and diverted the ball inside the post, putting Westmont up 2-0.
The completion of the hat trick came at the end of the 70th minute. A goal kick from the Urban Knight’s keeper, Jaiden Brooks, pinged off several heads before finding the turf at the feet of John Ruetschle.
The sophomore midfielder immediately forwarded the ball to Stull, who beat his defender and was one-on-one with Brooks.
As Brooks came out to challenge, Stull passed the ball to his right where Pryor was streaking toward the goal. Calmly, Pryor tapped it into an unguarded net.
For his efforts, Pryor was named one of two PacWest Men’s Soccer Players of the Week.
Defensively, the Warriors allowed just one shot on goal and Brady Highfill collected his fourth shutout of the season.
The Warriors are back in action on Saturday when they host Dominican as part of a men’s and women’s doubleheader. The men are scheduled for an early, 10:00 a.m. kick-off with the women following at 12:30 p.m.