AVE MARIA, Fla. — Thomas University men’s soccer defeated Ave Maria University, 6-1, to earn its first Sun Conference victory of the season.

The Night Hawks improved to 3-7 overall and 1-2 in the league. 

On Saturday, five Night Hawks scored six goals, and Gavin Rochford-Smith netted two. The senior from Bath, England, has scored 10 goals and tallied four assists in 10 games this season.

Just 11 minutes into the match, Mark Lescher sent a cross into the box, where Rene Rivera put a header into the back of the net. Just four minutes later, Diego Azar scored on a free kick from 30 yards out.

Ave Maria got on the board in the 37th minute to draw the score within one, but TU scored one more before the half. Selwyn Slotegraaf took a shot that hit the crossbar, and Rochford-Smith was there for the rebound shot to put TU up, 3-1 at the break.

In the second period, Jack Chambers sent a long cross toward the net, which was tapped in by Mateo Arbelaez at 62:45. Then in the 68th minute, Rochford-Smith scored his second goal off an assist from Cavan Daley. TU’s final goal was from Slotegraaf at 70:34.

The Night Hawks outshot Ave Maria 16-9 overall, including 8-1 in the second period, and 12-5 on goal.

Goalkeeper Ben Barnes made four saves and allowed one goal in 71:38 in goal. 

Thomas is back in action Oct. 9, traveling to Lake Wales, Fla., to play Webber International.

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