Senior Austin Gerber (Churchville, N.Y./Churchville-Chili) scored three second-half goals to lift the Keuka College men's soccer team to a 3-1 win over SUNY Polytechnic (formerly SUNYIT) Saturday afternoon in Marcy, N.Y.
Scoreless entering the second half, Gerber, a three-time All-North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) forward, exploded for three goals in the first eight minutes of the half as Keuka (8-2-1, 4-1-1 NEAC) pulled away for their third straight win.
Gerber scored three goals in a span of 4:49 during the second half against SUNY Polytechnic. With the scoring outburst, Gerber now has 16 goals with five assists (37 points) in just 11 games.
Gerber leads all of Division III in goals, he ranks in the top three in the country in both goals per game (1.45) and points per game (3.36), and he is closing in on Keuka's single-season records for goals and points in a season.
Loreto Barbone (2000-03) holds the Keuka College record for goals (18) and points (47) in a single-season.
The Green and Gold prevailed over the Wildcats (4-3-2, 3-2-1 NEAC) despite being outshot 18-6.
All three of Gerber's tallies came on breakaways. In the 48th minute, freshman Romeo Katanga (Manchester, N.H./Manchester) played a through ball in for Gerber, who finished for a 1-0 lead.
Gerber extended the lead to 2-0 on a breakaway goal in the 51st minute, and he completed the hat trick with a goal in the 53rd minute. Sophomore Paulin Kolodja (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas) played a through ball in for Gerber, who slotted his shot past keeper Mingoro Fanny.
Junior Preston Vick (Kendall, N.Y./Kendall) stopped a season-high 11 shots as Keuka remained in sole possession of second place in the NEAC.
"It was a big conference win, and any time you can go to SUNYIT and get a result against the reigning conference champions, it's definitely a big win and something to build on," said Matt Tantalo, in his 10th season coaching men's soccer at Keuka.
"Preston made some nice saves, but they didn't have a lot of good chances. Our back four played really well today, as did our whole team. Our defense was disciplined and worked hard today and it was a good team effort."
The back four was led by juniors Joe Maier (Spencerport, N.Y./Spencerport) and Richie Weit (Churchville, N.Y./Churchville-Chili), and sophomores Zach Briggs (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero-North Syracuse) and Ben Geloso (Webster, N.Y./Webster Thomas).
The Green and Gold host NEAC rival Penn State-Abington at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, the first of five straight home games to end the regular season. Keuka also hosts Bryn Athyn (Oct. 12), Alfred State (Oct. 18), Penn State-Berks (Oct. 24) and Lancaster Bible College (Oct. 25).