Sept. 3 – TOWSON, Md. – In just the second collegiate start, freshman Brandon Cohen produced his first-career hat trick, lifting the Goucher College men's soccer team to a 4-0 victory over Gwynedd Mercy on Saturday afternoon at Beldon Field.
Cohen and the Gophers (1-0-1) jumped on the board in the 24th minute, as he tallied his first of three goals on a deflection off the keeper. Ryan Belluch earned the assist as his shot skipped off the net-minder and to Cohen, who was waiting to put it away, giving the Gophers the 1-0 lead.
Cohen's second tally of the game came in the second half off a long feed from senior Jeremy Hardy. Hardy placed the ball in the air over the heads of the Griffin defense, and Cohen ran it down from midfield, before splitting a pair of defenders and beating the keeper, low.
The first-year forward wrapped up his hat trick in the 65th minute. After being awarded a penalty kick due to being tripped in the box, Cohen calmly beat the Gwynedd Mercy keeper on his left side for his third tally, which rounded out the scoring at 4-0.
In the midst of a great day from the freshman, junior Scott Mt. Pleasant also got into the action, tallying his second-career goal (and first of the season) on a penalty kick in the 25th minute. The PK was awarded to the Gophers thanks to a red card on the Griffin's goal keeper.
Offensively, the Gophers posted 19 total shots, which included a team-high four from Cohen. The freshman made the most of his chances, placing three of his four shots in the back of the net.
The hat trick marked the first by a Gopher since the 2010 season, when Elijah Lais netted three scores against Lancaster Bible College on Sept. 20.
Other offensive leaders included the goal by Mt. Pleasant, as well as Hardy and Belluch, who added an assist, apiece. Goucher posted seven shots on net, including one each from Belluch, Mt. Pleasant, Elton Kaitvhu and Andrew Marcantonio.
The offensive clinic by the Gophers was more than enough support for the Goucher defense and sophomore goalie Daniel Hendry, who pitched their first shutout of the season.
The Gophers allowed 13 shots on the day, with none finding the net, as Hendry stepped in to make six saves. Through the first two games, Hendry has stopped 17 shots, while allowing just one goal in 187:32 of game action.
Goucher, who have put together an undefeated home stand to open the season, finish their three game set on Tuesday, Sept. 6 as they host Penn State – Harrisburg. The matchup at Beldon Field is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start.