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Beltran's hat trick leads Cogs girls soccer over Hiawatha

Nicole Hebel (center) finds the ball between Hiawatha players Yulissa Solis (10) and Abi Garcia (9) Wednesday in a Class 1A Genoa-Kingston Regional semifinal game. The Cogs beat Hiawatha 4-1.
Nicole Hebel (center) finds the ball between Hiawatha players Yulissa Solis (10) and Abi Garcia (9) Wednesday in a Class 1A Genoa-Kingston Regional semifinal game. The Cogs beat Hiawatha 4-1.

GENOA – When Genoa-Kingston forward Viviana Beltran came out of Wednesday's Class 1A Genoa-Kingston Regional semifinal with two minutes left, there wasn't much else she could do.

Beltran, the Cogs' sophomore forward, had three goals in G-K's 4-1 win over third-seeded Hiawatha.

"I guess our teammates just did a good job playing the ball up," Beltran said. "They did a really good job playing it up for me to run to it and actually score like they normally do."

Beltran opened the scoring for G-K (8-11) nearly 10 minutes into the game, and got her second tally with 12:09 left in the first half.

Cogs sophomore Nicole Hebel got G-K's third goal of the game just more than 10 minutes into the second half, and Beltran finished off the Cogs' scoring with two minutes left in the game. Following the last goal, G-K coach Randy Tate took Beltran and forward Shannon Schumacher out following the score, with both getting a nice ovation.

Yulissa Solis had the lone goal for Hiawatha (6-3-1).

Tate wanted to get the ball to Beltran on the outside where she can show off her speed.

"As long as we get it up to her, she can make her move," Tate said. "She's very good on the outside. She accelerates very well, and if she can get around the corner, she should take it 1-on-1, she does a good job there."

With Tuesday's hat trick, Beltran now has 17 goals. It was also her second three-goal game of the season, as she also had a hat trick against North Boone earlier this year.

Beltran also had some other close calls Wednesday, missing on a breakaway and hitting the side of the net with a shot. She works well with Schumacher, who's prep career will continue thanks to the win. Schumacher had two near-misses as well, one of them coming 10 minutes in when she hit the crossbar.

The two have developed a nice chemistry with one another.

"We play on and off," Beltran said. "We like give and go's, and that's how me manage to shoot and score."

Tate said Beltran, who played varsity as a freshman in 2012, has more of an aggressive mentality this year.

"I think she's thinking more of scoring, instead of hanging back as much as she used to," Tate said.

The Cogs advance to take on top-seeded Indian Creek, which was a 3-1 winner over Mendota in Tuesday's regional semifinal. The two teams will play in Friday's regional championship game.

"They're a pretty aggressive team," Tate said of the Timberwolves. "What I thought their strength is, is their overall balance. So that's something we've got to figure out, how we can attack that and also how we can hold them defensively."

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