TUKWILA, WA – Lowell Wright bagged the first MLS NEXT Pro hat-trick in club history as Whitecaps FC 2 played to a thrilling 3-3 regulation draw against Cascadia rivals Tacoma Defiance at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Washington on Sunday afternoon. Tacoma won the ensuing penalty shootout 5-4 to claim the extra point. The match marked the young 'Caps final MLS NEXT Pro regular season match of the campaign.
A scoreless first half would be followed up with an action-packed second half, with WFC2 getting the scoring underway 20 seconds in.
After winning the ball back in the final third, Antoine Coupland found Kamron Habibullah on the side of the box and played a low ball into Lowell Wright. The Canadian finished calmly with a right-footed shot past Defiance goalkeeper Jacob Castro to give the young 'Caps the advantage.
Fast forward to the 59th minute, Dylan Teves would find the equalizer for the home side with a low left-footed shot from the top of the box to tie the match at 1-1. Four minutes later, Tacoma took the lead through a fortunate own goal.
The end-to-end scoring would continue five minutes later. Wright found some space at the top of the box and unleashed a stinging shot that Castro was unable to hang onto, with the ball trickling over the line to bring the game level.
Wright wasn't done there as he completed his hat-trick with another long-distance strike in the 73rd minute, firing a half volley past Castro and notching the first-ever Whitecaps FC 2 hat-trick in MLS NEXT Pro.
The young 'Caps continued to close down chances from Tacoma in the latter stages but were unable to keep the home side off the board. Paul Rothrock fired in a right-footed free kick in stoppage time to take the match to a penalty shootout.
Rothrock would once again play hero in the shootout, as he put home the winner to give his side the extra point.
Referee: Alexis Da Silva
46’ – VAN – Lowell Wright (Kamron Habibullah)
59’ – TAC – Dylan Teves (Snyder Brunell)
63’ – TAC – Simone Masi (own goal)
68’ – VAN – Lowell Wright (Kamron Habibullah)
73’ – VAN – Lowell Wright
90+2 – TAC – Paul Rothrock
VAN – Scored – Giovanni Aguilar
TAC – Scored – Abdoulaye Cissoko
VAN – Missed – Kamron Habibullah
TAC – Missed – Braudílio Rodrigues
VAN – Scored – Antoine Coupland
TAC – Scored – Hal Uderitz
VAN – Scored – Mihail Gherasimencov
TAC – Scored – Travian Sousa
VAN – Scored – Christian Greco-Taylor
TAC – Scored – Raul Miglietti
VAN – Missed – Elage Bah
TAC – Scored – Paul Rothrock
Possession: TAC 62% - VAN 38%
Shots: TAC 20 - VAN 10
Shots on Goal: TAC 7 - VAN 4
Saves: TAC 1 - VAN 5
Fouls: TAC 14 - VAN 15
Offsides: TAC 2 - VAN 1
Corners: TAC 7 - VAN 1
23’ – TAC – Adolfo Ovalle
76’ – VAN – Kamron Habibullah
90+2’ – TAC – Hal Uderitz
90+2’ – VAN – Christian Greco-Taylor
29.Jacob Castro; 39.Stuart Hawkins, 88.Adolfo Ovalle (97.Juan Alvarez HT), 92.Abdoulaye Cissoko; 45.Ethan Dobbelaere (96.Blake Bowen 63'), 32.Hal Uderitz, 52.Snyder Brunell (81.Raul Miglietti 80'), 31.Travian Sousa; 99.Dylan Teves (93.Georgi Minoungou 61'), 35.Paul Rothrock, 72.Braudílio Rodrigues
Substitutes not used
36.Wallis Lapsley, 38.Eythor Bjørgolfsson, 70.Antonio Herrera, 78.Pedro Karalkovas, 80.Chris Aquino
Whitecaps FC 250.Max Anchor; 57.Elage Bah, 53.Simone Masi, 95.Joshué Ndakala, 56.Lucas Dasovic, 54.Mihail Gherasimencov; 41.Malcolm Johnston (84.Christian Greco-Taylor 67'), 66.Giovanni Aguilar ©; 43.Antoine Coupland, 42.Lowell Wright (76.Joe Hanson 89'), 30.Kamron Habibullah
Substitutes not used
80.Alex Milosevic, 46.Darko Ilić, 58.Amoni Thomas, 93.Mario Lefevre, 94.Valter Sedin