WASHINGTON – A Steven Lenhart hat trick led the San Jose Earthquakes to a 4-2 win over D.C. United Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. Lenhart played a role in all four of San Jose’s goals on the evening by assisting on the club’s fourth, scored by Simon Dawkins as the Earthquakes extended their unbeaten streak to six games. Andy Najar and Blake Brettschneider tallied their first goals of the season for the home side.
After a frenetic opening sequence that saw the Earthquakes unable to capitalize on early chances, D.C. struck first in the 13th minute. Josh Wolff found enough room on the left side of the offensive third, and sent in a low, curling ball that eluded four Earthquake defenders before Andy Najar found it at the back post to finish past Jon Busch.
D.C.’s lead wouldn’t last long. Two minutes later, Steven Lenhart beat the offside trap to meet a Khari Stephenson through ball before rounding D.C. goalie Bill Hamid for the finish into the vacated net.
The high tempo to the game continued as San Jose took the lead in the 22nd minute. Stephenson found room in front of D.C.’s defense, testing Hamid from just outside the box. The 20-year-old couldn’t hold the shot, allowing Lenhart to pounce on the rebound and finish over Hamid.
United, playing at home for the first time since May 14, weren’t kept quiet for long. In the 34th minute, Chris Korb found rookie Blake Brettschneider with his back to Quakes defender Bobby Burling. He collected the pass, turned Burling, and fired low and hard past Busch to tie the game.
Shortly after the break, San Jose re-took the lead. Simon Dawkins, an early substitute for Stephenson, scored with almost his first touch of the game in the 48th minute. He played a one-two with Steven Lenhart to sneak behind D.C.’s back line, and beat Hamid to take a 3-2 lead.
But the Quakes weren’t done. After D.C. didn’t fully clear an Earthquakes chance in the 60th minute, Steven Beitashour looped a ball back into the box. Bill Hamid came way off his line to challenge for the ball, but Lenhart got there first, heading it into an empty net for his hat trick.
Down 4-2, United threw numbers forward to try and get back into the game, but Busch and the rest of San Jose’s back line held firm to see out the three points on the road.
D.C. United 2, San Jose Earthquakes 4
San Jose Earthquakes (5-4-4) vs. D.C. United (4-5-4)
June 11, 2011 -- RFK Stadium
DC -- Andy Najar 1 (Josh Wolff 2) 13
SJ -- Steven Lenhart 2 (Khari Stephenson 2) 15
SJ -- Steven Lenhart 3 (unassisted) 22
DC -- Blake Brettschneider 1 (Chris Korb 2) 34
SJ -- Simon Dawkins 4 (Steven Lenhart 2) 49
SJ -- Steven Lenhart 4 (Steven Beitashour 2) 60
San Jose Earthquakes -- Jon Busch, Steven Beitashour, Bobby Burling, Jason Hernandez, Bobby Convey, Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Brandon McDonald 89), Sam Cronin, Khari Stephenson (Simon Dawkins 48), Brad Ring, Ramiro Corrales, Steven Lenhart.
Substitutes Not Used: Joey Gjertsen, Chris Leitch, Matt Luzunaris, Ellis McLoughlin, Andrew Weber.
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Chris Korb (Brandon Barklage 68), Ethan White, Perry Kitchen, Daniel Woolard (Dax McCarty 78), Andy Najar, Fred, Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Blake Brettschneider (Charlie Davies 63), Josh Wolff.
Substitutes Not Used: Stephen King, Joseph Ngwenya, Jed Zayner, Steve Cronin.
SJ -- Brad Ring (caution; Reckless Foul) 87
Referee: Andrew Chapin
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; Corey Parker
4th Official: Alex Prus
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-80-degrees