CAM Rodriguez netted the first hat-trick of the UAAP women’s football season to power Ateneo to a 4-3 come from behind win over Far Eastern University on Saturday at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Thrice the Blue Booters fell behind against the Lady Tamaraws but managed to get back on top each time, improving to six points.
"It's really about the momentum. We just followed the instructions of the coaches, the instruction was to keep pushing, and luckily we were able to get those goals," said Rodriguez.
"All our performance right now are well thought of that's why we came away with the win," she added.
An own goal by Mia Catedrilla put FEU ahead in the 13th minute but that was quickly negated by Denise Diaz in the 19th after the FEU backline failed to clear the ball properly.
The Tamaraws once again went ahead in the 20th minute on a Jovelle Sudaria free kick before Rodriguez started her goal spree.
A kick from the spot in the 27th minute leveled the match before the half. Bia Lynn Requerme pushed the Tamaraws ahead for one last time in the 58th.
Kimberly Cupal got a red card in the 65th minute for an alleged punch. With their foes down to 10, Rodriguez made them pay as she scored consecutive goals in the 76th and 78th minute to push Ateneo ahead.
FEU had a chance to tie in the 87th minute when Alina Araneta was fouled in the box, but the linesman deemed Araneta was in an offside position, overruling the penalty.
It was the second straight game that FEU wasted a chance to tie late after losing to UST 2-1 last week.
La Salle got a measure of revenge to defending champion University of the Philippines as it came away with a 2-1 decision.
The Lady Booters got some measure of revenge for their finals loss last season, sending the champions to their second straight defeat.
Goals from Kyra Dimaandal in the 45th minute and Kyla Inquig in the 47th minute turned out to be enough.
"They're a little bit rusty. We haven't had many games and that's what happens, they got rusty," said coach Hans Smit.
"At least we were insured by two goals. That helped a bit but I can see we weren't prepared yet," he added.
Dimaandal took advantage on the rebound after Nicole Andaya's shot wasn't fully controlled by UP keeper Nicole Adlawan.
Things doubled up quickly for La Salle as Inquig scored on amazing free kick, curling the ball past the wall and blasting the ball past Adlawan just two minutes after the half.
BG Sta. Clara pulled one back for UP in the 55th minute but the Lady Maroons could not score another and they remained winless in two outings.