Mastrella’s Banner Game Sparks Men’s Soccer
September 1, 2012
Sometimes, an athlete gets hot and feels like he or she can do whatever they set their mind to on the field.
For senior forward John Mastrella (Rochester, NY/Greece Athena), Saturday’s contest against D’Youville College, part of the Keuka Lakefront Classic, was one of those days, and his teammates recognized and did their part to set up their dynamic goal-scorer.
Mastrella scored a career-best four goals to carry Keuka to a 4-2 win over D’Youville in the last of four Lakefront Classic games, played at the Jephson Community Athletic Complex.
With the exception of a summer league game, it was Mastrella’s first-ever four-goal game, and the first hat trick of his collegiate career.
“I felt good today, my team was really confident in the way I was playing and I’m just thrilled,” said Mastrella, who has five goals and an assist in the Storm’s first two games.
“My teammates played some great balls and I was fortunate enough to finish them. This is a huge win, it really puts us in a good position and it will motivate us to keep working hard.”
Mastrella, a second-team All-North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) selection as a junior, scored twice on headers in the first half to stake the Storm (2-0) to a 2-0 lead.
Keuka struck first in the 12th minute. Junior Nate Schreiber (Hilton, NY/Hilton) played a cross into the box for Mastrella, who sent home a header for a 1-0 lead. On the second tally, senior defender Justin Ryan (Berkshire, NY/Dryden) played a beautiful long ball into the box for Mastrella, who sent his header high over the keeper’s head for a 2-0 edge.
The Spartans (0-2) answered with 9:30 left in the first half, and knotted the score five minutes later as the game went into intermission tied at 2.
Keuka came out hot in the second half with a furry of shots on net, starting with a deep blast from sophomore Austin Gerber (Rochester, NY/ Churchville) that just missed its mark.
Moments later, Gerber passed a ball into freshman midfielder Matt Hey (Canandaigua, NY/ Marcus Whitman), who headed a shot towards the goal before it was deflected out of harms way. Mastrella’s rebound shot struck the bottom of the cross bar, where freshman Ben Schreiber (Hilton, NY/Hilton) fired a 12-yard shot, but once again the D’Youville defense held.
Mastrella put the Green and Gold ahead for good in the 69th minute, sending a free kick from 20 yards into the far corner of the goal for his first career collegiate hat trick.
But Mastrella wasn’t done yet. He added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute, when Hey beat his defender and tapped a pass to Mastrella, who beat the keeper to finish the scoring.
Hey, Nate Schreiber and Ryan each had assists while freshman Preston Vick (Kendall, NY/Kendall) made five saves for his second win. With the Green and Gold clinging to a 3-2 lead with 12:30 remaining, Vick made a crucial save, diving to his left to preserve the lead.
“This is a huge team effort and we fought back today,” said Mastrella, who received a rousing ovation when he came off the field with five minutes remaining.
“We knew it was going to take a lot of character to come back, and I think the biggest part about our team is we’re a family and everyone’s starting to gel together. We’re working hard in practice and it shows in our games. It was a good game for everyone.”
Keuka opens NEAC play with a pair of home games, taking on Penn State-Abington at 3 p.m. on Sept. 8, followed by a 3 p.m. clash with Penn State-Berks on Sept. 9.