The Union Democrat Sports Department

Wildcat sophomore Ryley McLaughlin netted a hat trick Thursday night to help lead Sonora over Valley Oak League rival Lathrop 3-0 at Dunlavy Field.

"We have a very speedy front line," said Sonora head coach Denyse Garcia McLauglin. "We've got three very fast players up there and it was hard for them to compete with that amount of speed."

Ryley McLaughlin's first goal came in the first half. She converted after receiving a through ball from Wildcat sophomore Sofia Johnson.

McLaughlin's other two goals came in the second half. First, Sonora junior Carly Lucas received the ball around midfield and dished it to McLaughlin, who beat the Lathrop goalkeeper and put the ball in the net.

Later in the second half, Wildcat senior Meara Allan fed a pass behind the last defender right to McLaughlin who buried the ball in the back of the net for her third and final score on the night.

"Ryley had a hat trick tonight, but obviously her teammates had to feed her the ball," said the Wildcat boss McLaughlin.

"Lucas, Audrey Cody and Brooke Fulkerson are my midfielders and had a good game tonight," McLaughlin continued. "They connected passes and worked well together offensively and defensively. I'd say it was their best game as a group."

McLaughlin also praised Rachel Rosasco who defended five shots on goal. Sonora took a total 20 shots on Lathrop's goal.

"They worked hard and pressured us for the ball," McLaughlin said of Lathrop. "They kept us honest and we had to play a good game in order to beat them."

The Wildcats (2-3 VOL)next host Weston Ranch (1-5 VOL) on Tuesday, which McLaughlin expects will be another tough challenge typical of the grueling VOL.

"We didn't beat them by much last time and now they know us and are going to play us much harder," McLaughlin said. "We have our work cut out for us."

JV-Sonora tied Lathrop 2-2 after coming back from a two-goal deficit.

The Wildcats went down 1-0 in the first half and Lathrop scored again in the second.

But Wildcat Kathleen Hobbins cut the Lathrop lead with a goal followed by Kennedy Bruce with one on a penalty kick to tie.

"It says a lot about our sophomore team when they come back like that," McLaughlin said.