Freshman Gianni Cognata scored a hat trick in his first varsity soccer game Monday night, leading the Cape Coral Seahawks to an 8-1 victory over Charlotte in the season opening match at Dave Warkentin Field.
Besides the three goals, Cognata assisted on another goal. Senior Juan Cano and Oscar Camacho each added two goals while Ryan Hoegler tacked on the other goal. Laz Vera contributed two assists.
Alex Colazzo and Austin Lachman shared goalkeeping duties for the Seahawks, making four saves apiece. The Seahawks (1-0) host Dunbar Wednesday night.
Mariner 2, Sarasota 1: The Mariner Tritons opened the season Monday night with a victory over Sarasota at Tony McKenna Field.
Lucas Orellana scored both goals for the Tritons, including the tie-breaking and game-winning penalty kick score in the second half. Justin Kuchle assisted on Orellana's first-half goal, before Sarasota tied the game late in the opening half.
Goalkeeper Alex Trujillo made two saves throughout, preserving the victory for the Tritons (1-0), who visit city rival Ida Baker Tuesday night.
"We had limited opportunities," said Tritons coach Martin Cardenas. "A defender came out on Orellana at the top of the 18-yard box to force the penalty kick in the second half. We played great defense all night."
Cardenas singled out defenders Isaias Velasquez, Kuchle, Glen Garron and Jomar Rescrepo as well as midfielder Josh Teeter with stopping the Sailors' scoring chances.