Maryville College fought off blustery conditions ahead of the remnants of Hurricane Florence, as Austin Vinyard etched his name in the NCAA record books in a 5-0 win over Berea College.
Vinyard recorded his first collegiate hat trick on Saturday afternoon, as the feat became the ninth-fastest hat trick in NCAA Division III history. The sophomore posted his trio of goals in just 3:08.
"I never thought it would ever happen like this," Vinyard said after the match. "It's pretty crazy to think about. It actually felt longer, but my teammates set me up for good goals. I was very thankful to have them around me. I'll definitely think about this forever. I'll always remember this."
"I told him, you know, this is a pretty special moment in Maryville College history," Head Coach Pepe Fernandez said. "Obviously, we've been struggling the last few games with injuries and trying to find our way in the offensive third. For somebody to step up and score a three goals in a few minutes like that, it's the type of moment that can transform a team and transform a season. I really just want to congratulate him on it. I'm proud of him."
After a very physical first half, Berea and Maryville went to the break tied at 0-0.
The Scots held the advantage offensively, posting 12 shots in the first 45 minutes with four on goal. Clay Sheaffer turned away each of those, while the Mountaineers posted five shots with a single shot on goal.
Nate Long had four of MC's 12 first-half shots, while Randy Reichenberger added a pair. Ryan Jorgensen had a save in the first half to keep the score at nil, while Maryville's back four kept Berea at bay.
Vinyard would break the silence in the 47th minute. Kai Miettinen drove the right side, finding Vinyard in the middle of the box. He one-touched it to the lower left corner for a 1-0 MC lead.
Just 2:11 later, Vinyard notched his third goal of the season and the second of the match. Vinyard drove into the box down the middle, before pushing a pass to Reichenberger. Reichenberger would one-touch it back to him, as Vinyard posted it into the upper right from 15 yards out.
Just 57 seconds later, the swift-footed sophomore would strike again – this time of his own creation. Vinyard dribbled three times into the box, posting his shot off the crossbar and into the upper right of the net for the hat trick and a 3-0 score.
Maryville's offense was struggling to find the attack, before the 3:08 flurry.
"That's what we've lacked the first few games," Fernandez said. "You pull Michael [Quatrano], Johnny [Rahkmonberdiev] and Jameson [Elmore] out of the lineup, then you're trying to find your rhythm. We were creating some chances, but we were kind of caught in two minds on our finishing. Austin came in, and he was very decisive. He took his chances well. He scored three fantastic goals. They were not only great individual goals, but they were good team efforts, too. We pressed, we won the ball, and we got around the corners like we like to. Austin finished very well."
In the 58th minute, Reichenberger would add to his assist on the day for his first goal of 2018. Long crossed to the left, finding Chris Fernandez just outside the box. Fernandez would up a hard-hit cross, as Reichenberger clipped it out of the air and into the lower right corner for a 4-0 lead.
MC's final goal came in the 89th minute. Skelton drove from 45 yards out for his first goal of 2018 and a 5-0 Maryville victory.
The Scots (2-2, 1-1 USA South) allowed just two shots by Berea College (2-3, 0-1) in the second half, as the Mountaineers could manage only one shot on goal for the contest. Maryville had 22 shots with 10 on frame for the match.
MC will return to action tomorrow, as they play host to Berry College. First touch is slated for 3 p.m., weather permitting. Follow Maryville College Athletics on social media via @MCScots for updates.