Cummins' hat trick showcases versatility, presence on the field
Oct. 6, 2010
To say that sophomore Kristin Cummins is ahead of the class is an understatement. She graduated high school in a mere three years, and her tenure with the Texas Soccer team is accelerating in similar form.
Last season, she was one of just four Longhorns to start every match - and was the only freshman to do so. And this past Friday night again Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cummins joined elite company in Texas Soccer history.
With her three goals in the overtime victory against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cummins became just the ninth player all-time to record a hat trick and the first since Kelsey Carpenter did so in 2006.
Cummins recorded goals in the 13th, 64th and 77th minutes of the game to spur the 4-3 triumph.
"It felt amazing," Cummins said. "When the third goal hit the back of the net, it was unreal, not only personally, but because of how it was able to help my team retake the lead."
The 2010 season for the Longhorns is marked by their collective maturity and ability to score goals. Cummins is a symbol of UT's growth, and has played a major role in helping her team earn quality offensive strikes.
"The team focus this season has centered around moving forward," Cummins said. "For me, I want the ball, I want it in front of the goal, and I want it in the back of the net. It's a simple mentality."
Even though she posted 20 shots on goal, Cummins did not score a goal as a freshman, and entered the contest against Wisconsin-Milwaukee with just two this season. But, like the entire UT team, she's been persistent with her attack, and kept pounding the ball toward the net.
It paid off with her historic hat trick.
"For Kristin, it is more desire than anything else," head coach Chris Petrucelli said. "Her effort to get to the ball in the box is outstanding. You will see her literally throwing her whole body to the ball. That's what makes the difference in front of the goal."
The elation of scoring a goal never gets old, but ultimately Cummins knows each goal increases her team's fire.
"The feeling after scoring is amazing, but more importantly, it fuels your teammates," Cummins said. "Every time the ball hits the back of the net everyone on the field just gets so much more pumped to earn one more."
As midfielder, Cummins has become an important part of the Longhorn offense, scoring five goals and recording one assist for 11 points this season, second-best on the team. Her performance has helped propel the Longhorns to a 7-3-2 record.
"Kristin definitely has a presence on the field, and it motivates her teammates," Petrucelli said. "She is a force to be reckoned with, and she leads by example. Anytime you have a player who works as hard as she does, you respect them. I think she has the respect of our whole team."
The record-setting night may have been reason enough to celebrate, but Cummins knows the win is much more important, especially as the Longhorns begin their final conference stretch of the season.
"It is an exciting night for us," Cummins said. "This is how we play. This is us from here on out. We are only going to progress from here. We are playing to win."