Akyen’s hat trick lifts Warriors over Marymount

A hat trick from Nana Akyen and a pair of goals by Gerald Ben led the Warriors to a season opening 5-3 win over Marymount (1-2) at Thorrington Field. The Warriors, fell behind 2-0 in the first ten minutes of the game, but recovered with a goal before halftime and four more in the second half.

“It was a tough way to start the game,” said Westmont head coach Dave Wolf, “and there were a lot of obstacles at that point in the game. We had never played them before and knew very little about them. We were expecting them to be a good team and they obviously were very good out of the gate.”

Viktor Ahlgren scored in the first minute of the game from 12 yards out after receiving a pass from Tony Gonzalez on the left side. Seven and one-half minutes later, the same two players combined to make the score 2-0 in favor of the Mariners.

The early deficit did not seem to discourage the Warriors. In the twenty-first minute, Gerald Ben dribbled the ball down the field and then past the Mariners’ goalkeeper to score in an empty net.

“You can talk about it being a new season,” mused Wolf, “and talk about having a good team and talk about the character of the team. That is very common language in training camp. But until you put a “W” on the board, you’re not confirmed in the rhetoric.

I believed that those things were true before the game and leading up to the game, but the truth of those things is confirmed when you win a game, especially when you win a game in that fashion.”

Nana Akyen evened the score at two in the second half with a goal in the fifty-sixth minute. The junior dribbled past his defender then scored from ten yards out. In the seventieth minute, Akyen struck for the second time, putting a shot past the approaching keeper to put the Warriors on top 3-2.

“Nana was fantastic on both sides of the ball,” said Wolf. “He played today the way we have seen him play in training camp. He has matured as a person and a player. He gave a full demonstration of his capabilities. To get three in the opener was a spectacular start for him.

“I thought Nana and Sean Siemens were the catalysts in turning the game around,” noted Wolf. “I thought Sean’s grit and determination and technique made him the key man on the day.”

In the seventy-fourth minute, Marymount’s Scott Smith was dribbling toward the goal unimpeded but was tripped up by Warrior goalkeeper Matt McNab. The Mariners were awarded a penalty kick, which Smith took, putting the ball in the net and tying the game at three all.

With five and one-half minutes remaining in regulation, senior Isaac Thompkins dribbled toward the goal, engaged the keeper, then passed the ball to Akyen who knocked it into an empty net for his third goal of the day.

“I want to commend Isaac Thompkins,” praised Wolf. “He has played very well during training camp. He only played 21 minutes of the game today and he had a hand in two of the goals. It’s not easy as a senior coming off the bench, but what a contribution he made to our team today. He is a great example to our younger players in how he has handled himself in training camp and how he performed today when he was called on.”

Thompkins would earn his second assist exactly three minutes later. Tracking down a ball that was headed out of bounds in front of the Warrior bench, Thompkins passed the ball ahead of Ben who drove to the goal and score for the second time in the game.

With a newly minted 1-0 record, the Warriors head to the Bay Area next weekend for a couple of games. On Friday, Westmont will take on Menlo at one o’clock. Then on Saturday, the Warriors continue up the peninsula for a game against Notre Dame de Namur at noon.