Bruce Cutler converted a pair of penalty kicks, and Bobby Huertas added to his opening night hat trick as Saint Leo defeated North Georgia 3-0 on Saturday night.
The Lions (2-0-0) applied pressure on North Georgia (0-1-0) from the opening whistle, and it was rewarded in the 28th minute when it was awarded a penalty kick, which Cutler converted.
Saint Leo doubled its lead in the 59th minute, as North Georgia’s Sean Durkan was awarded a yellow card for a foul in the area. Again, Cutler drove the ball home, making him 7-for-7 for his Saint Leo career from the penalty spot.
Leonardo Nogueira then created the third goal 10 minutes later, driving down the right side before beating his defender as he approached the top of the penalty area. Nogueira then slipped a pass through to Huertas, making a run from midfield, and the former Freedom High standout fired into the net from close in.
Erik Mozzo recorded his second straight shutout, making seven saves for the Lions, including five in the second half as the Saints came further into the game.
The Lions next face their road-opener as they travel to West Florida next Friday at 8:30 p.m. The Argonauts, currently ranked No.20 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division II poll, should provide an opportunity for Saint Leo to prove its top 25 credentials.