Jack was nimble, Jack was quick.
And Jack Wetzel was able to score a hat trick.
The junior forward accomplished the feat in the opening 18 minutes of Northport’s 7-2 win over visiting Riverhead in a Suffolk County League II boys soccer game Thursday afternoon.
Wetzel boosted the Tigers (9-4, 8-3) into a 3-0 lead they never relinquished, forcing the Blue Waves (2-12, 0-11) to chase the game despite a pair of late goals by junior midfielder Darwin Villatoro.
Wetzel, who entered the match with seven goals, scored early and often, first connecting with the game only four minutes, 37 seconds old. He latched onto a pass on the left side and broke in on goalkeeper Alex Martinez as he slotted the ball home.
He was far from finished, doubling the lead with 17:43 left in the first half. He worked himself free on the left side and deposited the ball into the lower right corner.
Goal No. 3 came with 22 minutes to go in the half as he chipped the keeper from the left side for a three-goal advantage and his 10th goal this season.
When Wetzel was taken out of the game a minute later, he told coach Don Strasser: “Wish I got opportunities like that every game.”
Senior midfielder Will Voss (19:04 left) and sophomore midfielder Steven Siso (8:19 to to) added goals to lift the Tigers to a 5-0 halftime margin.
Senior midfielder Matthew Lindley increased the lead to 6-0 with 25:29 remaining in the second half before Villatoro connected for his goals off of rebounds left by goalkeeper James Rowan with 18:07 and 7:50 left in the game.
Villatoro came close to recording a hat trick himself in the waning seconds as his shot was saved by Rowan and then hit his hand. He was called for a handball.
Siso closed out the scoring by converting a rebound of his own with 6:52 remaining in the match.
Photo caption: Riverhead’s Vincent Gattuso dribbling forward during Thursday’s 7-2 loss to Northport. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)