Castleton, Vt. - Freshman Dominique Valancius went on a tear, scoring a trio of goals in the second half to lead the Spartans to a 4-0 victory over Johnson St.
Castleton improved to 2-0 in the North Atlantic Conference with the win, and moved to 6-3 on the season. Jessica Binkowski earned the win in net for the Spartans by making one save in 70 minutes. Brielle DeBaise releived her for the final 20 minutes without making a save. Johnson St. keeper Amber McColluck made 13 saves in the loss.
The Spartans kicked off the scoring in the 29th minute with a goal from forward Mallory Costello. Valancius ripped a shot off the crossbar that Costello collected about 12 yards out. The sophomore blasted a left-footed shot into the right side netting to put the Spartans up 1-0.
After the break, Castleton extended their lead with a pair of early second half goals by Valancius. In the 49th minute, Costello ran onto a pass down the right flank. The forward crossed the ball to Valancius in the box, who collected the ball and beat a defender before slotting it past the keeper. Just 1:37 later, Costello found Valancius again to put the Spartans up 3-0.
The freshman knocked another in later in the half to complete her first career hat trick. Jenna Bostwick crossed the ball in off a corner kick, and Valancius was there to clean up the mess and place the ball into the goal to make the score 4-0.
With her hat trick, Dominique Valancius is on a torrid scoring pace, through nine games she has scored eight goals, one more than teammate Mallory Costello scored through nine games last season. Costello went on to finish the season with 20 goals and win the NAC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards.
Castleton will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 28 when they host Maine Maritime Academy at 3:30pm.