Anthony Alberti scored a hat trick, the Osage defense stayed sharp and the Indians won their third straight game by defeating Helias 3-1 on home pitch Monday night.

Anthony Alberti scored a hat trick, the Osage defense stayed sharp and the Indians won their third straight game by defeating Helias 3-1 on home pitch Monday night.

In less than ideal conditions on a cold and wet night, the Indians struck first when Chris Boyd found Alberti who managed to make a turn in some defensive traffic and hit a shot in the lower left corner from just inside the 18-yard box. Helias responded with an equalizer with just about 10 minutes remaining in the first half, but it was all Osage the rest of the way.

“The second half was as physical as many of our games late this season have been, but we were able to stay relaxed,” Osage coach Jason Long pointed out.

Alberti hit his second goal on what Long called, “a brilliant display of footwork” that left a Helias defender and the keeper off balance. Alberti later secured the hat trick on a penalty kick where he placed the ball in the net after making the keeper guess the wrong way.

“The boys were not going to deny him the opportunity for a hat trick so Anthony took his own penalty, which isn’t typically common practice for our side,” Long noted.

The Indians got the goals they needed, but Long said the defensive back line may have been the stars of the night.

“While Anthony had another fantastic night against a great program like Helias, I have to give credit to our defensive corps who have been getting it done all season long,” the coach said of the efforts from Boyd, Ryan Watson, Vladimir Nahapetyan and Tanner Colonius. “They take pride in calling themselves ‘Backline’ and have been (keeper) Reagan O’Shea’s last line of confrontation all season long. It is a little bittersweet knowing Ryan will soon be graduating, but it is a fantastic feeling as a coach to know that we have such a young group with this much high school experience. Osage soccer definitely has something to look forward to.”

Osage (11-6) has won nine of its past 11 games and the Indians were scheduled to close out the regular season hosting Fulton (12-6) Tuesday night. Osage is the third seed in the Class 2 District 5 Tournament and will face No. 2 host Clinton on Tuesday at 6:45 p.m.