Junior Mario Cortes scored three goals Tuesday, giving the Tigers a 3-2 victory over the Tillamook Cheesemakers.
Tillamook scored the first goal, putting them in the lead early on. Taft Head Coach Ryan Ulicni said his team had to find the strength to keep going.
“I actually like to see our team get behind at least for a goal,” Ulicni said. “It shows the true character and heart of a team. Losing the lead twice to come back and win was all about heart.”
Cortes scored his first goal in the first half, answering Tillamook.
According to Ulicni, freshman Josh McCormick had a “brilliant piece of goalkeeping” to keep Taft in the game.
Cortes scored another two goals in the second half to give Taft the win. Cortes’ feat of scoring three goals in a single game earns him an illustrious hat-trick, made even more valuable by getting it against a tough 4A Tillamook team.
“All throughout the middle these guys earned this game with pure heart,” Ulicni said. “So proud!”
Taft’s second win at home over a 4A team puts them at 2-0 overall.
The Tigers play next at home against Newport/Eddyville Charter (2-0), 4 p.m. Sept. 7.