He scored four goals for the second time in as many nights and led the Hart boys’ soccer team to an 8-0 blow out over Newaygo at home Thursday night in a district quarterfinal game.
Ortega also added two assists to steal the show, while Tony Rayo collected an assist to become the single season record-holder with 15 assists.
The Pirates improved to 12-6-2, the most victories in a season since 2012.
It was Ortega who got the scoring started for the Pirates, who finished the game without allowing the Lions a single shot on goal. Ortego scored off a throw-in by Rayo just 6 minutes into the game.
The Pirates never let up, keeping the pressure on the Lions’ defensive end and creating chance after chance.
Hart notched its second goal at the 23-minute mark of the first half when Tyler Larios-Mendez found a well-placed ball bouncing around in the Lions’ penalty area and poked it to Ortega, who buried the shot for a 2-0 lead.
Six minutes later, the Pirates increased the lead to 3-0 with a goal that resulted from a corner kick taken by Bryce Jorissen.
Less than a minute later, with 16:46 left in the first half, the Pirates won the ball off a Lion kickoff and Ortega broke down the left side. His cross into the box found freshman Adrian Belmares, whose shot hit the back of the net. It was Belmares’ fourth goal of the season.
Ortega then intercepted a Newaygo pass in the midfield and put it away for his hat trick.
His fourth goal came after Rayo threaded a through ball to him with 5 minutes left in the half.
“We made a couple adjustments at halftime, one key one was moving Ortega to right wing to utilize the space outside with greater efficiency,” said Hart coach Joe Gilbert.
It worked perfectly.
Just two minutes into the second half, Ortega broke down the right side and slotted a ball to Jorissen, who fired a shot that caught a deflection and bounced back to him and he put it into the net.
The Pirates immediately won the ball back at kickoff. The result was a goal by Adan Cruz. That ended the game due to the mercy rule.
“The pressure from the forwards and midfield made our job so easy,” said Hart senior defender Diego Escamilla. “All we had to do was collect whatever got through and play it back into the mids.”
Hart will host Montague at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the district semifinals.