The Lindenwood University-Belleville soccer team opened preseason drills just a week ago. But the Lynx already have a player in midseason form
Senior Cesar Ocasta sliced his way through the Southwestern Illinois College defense to score three goals on Sunday, as the Lynx captured the annual Mayor's Cup with a 5-2 win in a game played on the Lindenwood University-Belleville campus.
Leonardo Tarquinio Duque Ferri gave the Lynx an early lead when he beat SWIC goalie Steve Green with a head ball from point-blank range at the 23-minute mark of the first half.
Less than two minutes later, Ocasta scored his first goal when he took advantage of a blown defensive assignment and beat Green with a shot from 14-yards out, putting the Lynx up 2-0.
"We've only been practicing for a week, but I thought we came out and played pretty well. It was a good effort by the team and we were able to come out with a win,'' Lynx coach Dan Hogan said. "We came out and gave a good effort, which was good to see and Cesar (Ocasta) is a very talented player who is developing into a real leader.''
Ocasta made it 3-0 before SWIC sophomore Danny Hughey scored the first of his two goals to make it 3-1 at halftime.
Ocasta completed his hat trick early in the second half.
Getting the ball on the right side of the field, Ocasta gained control of the ball, then hit a shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the Blue Storm net as he gave Lindenwood-Belleville back its three-goal lead.
"He (Ocasta) is obviously a very good player, but they (Lindenwood) have a lot of good players and they may have even more good players who aren't playing yet,'' SWIC coach Larry Petri said. "I said before the season that we were going to be a very young team on the defensive side of the field and today we showed our youth a couple of times,''
Also playing its preseason opener, SWIC was dominated by the Lynx in the first half.
Outshot by an 11-4 margin, the Blue Storm still had its chances.
Hughey, an all-Region 24 player a year ago, just missed the cross bar on a shot from 25-yards out, while freshman midfielder Joaquin Aguirre had a shot stopped by the Lynx defense.
"Danny Hughey, obviously, had a brilliant game and I thought we had a couple of opportunities that we didn't take advantage of,'' Petri said. "This was a very good test for us and we got an idea of maybe some of what some of the other players can do.''