Hinkley senior Antonio Lopez celebrates after his go-ahead goal during the second half of the Thunderbirds’ 3-1 EMAC boys soccer win over Westminster on April 9, 2021. Lopez scored all three goals for Hinkley, which improved to 5-0. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | Antonio Lopez and the Hinkley boys soccer team did its part to set up a battle of undefeated teams in an upcoming weekend matchup with Aurora Central.

Lopez, a senior striker, completed a hat trick with two goals in a five-minute span in the second half as the Thunderbirds finally shook off pesky Westminster for a 3-1 EMAC victory that moved them to 5-0 on the season.

Sophomore Miguel Ruiz assisted on two of Lopez’s goals and senior Rudy Medina picked up the assist on the other for first-year head coach Abigail Hinga’s Hinkley team, which entertains rival Aurora Central (4-0 after an 11-1 win at Weld Central) Saturday at Aurora Public Schools Stadium.

Lopez came into the game against Westminster (0-3-1) with three goals and doubled his total to move into a tie with Medina for the team lead with six through five games. The tie-breaking goal came in the 57th minute when Ruiz slipped a pass to a wide open Lopez near the top of the box and he finished.

An insurance goal came from Lopez in the 62nd minute when Ruiz headed a ball out in front of Lopez, who beat several defenders and scored inside the near post.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

HINKLEY 3, WESTMINSTER 1

Score by halves:

Westminster  1  0 — 1

Hinkley          1  2 — 3

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