Four different student-athletes recorded a point as the Keuka College men's soccer team picked up a 3-1 win over the University of Pitt-Bradford Friday night in the second game of the 2nd annual Keuka Lakefront Classic.
Sophomore Ben Schreiber (Hilton, NY/Hilton) scored a goal and handed out an assist, junior Austin Gerber (Churchville, NY/Churchville-Chili) and freshman Ben Geloso (Webster, NY/Webster Thomas) each scored goals while freshman Paulin Kolodja (Rochester, NY/Aquinas) had an assist for the Storm (1-0).
Keuka won its season opener for the fourth straight year.
"It was a good start for us, a good first match where as a group we defended well and we did some really good things getting forward with the ball," said head coach Matt Tantalo, who has posted a 75-48-10 record (.598 winning percentage) through his first eight years at the helm of the Green and Gold.
"This is a really good start to the year for us. We still have a long ways to go, we're scratching the surface of what we're going to become but it's always good to have a good showing and get a win right off the bat."
Schreiber scored from eight yards out after Koldodja played a slot pass to Schreiber, who made a move and pushed his shot into the left portion of the goal with 2:44 remaining in the opening half.
Keuka had several solid good looks on goal before Schreiber's strike, with Schreiber having a good rip from 12 yards out that sailed wide of the goal.
Gerber had two good scoring chances roughly 10 minutes apart in the opening half, but his first shot was wide right and his second one from 15 yards out glanced off the crossbar with 12:02 remaining.
The teams went to halftime with Keuka holding onto a 1-0 lead despite outshooting the Panthers (0-1) 19-2.
The Storm's offensive persistence paid off three minutes into the second half, when Geloso staked the Storm to a 2-0 lead. Off a free kick, Geloso collected the loose ball and sent his shot high and into the back of the net with 41:52 remaining in the second half for that all-important two-goal lead.
While the Storm had several more solid looks on goal, the lead remained 2-0 until Nicholas Walker converted a flying header for a goal in the 73rd minute.
Clinging to the one-goal lead, Keuka tacked on an insurance goal in the 85th minute. Schreiber sent a through ball to a sprinting Gerber, who collected the pass and fired a shot that sailed high over the keeper's head and into the back of the net to essentially clinch the win.
That was a huge goal for the Storm, a young group with 13 freshmen among the 24 student-athletes on the squad.
"That play was huge, it was a good break and I was hitting the ball long so Austin could get up and we could get the ball out because at that point, we were just fighting to keep them out of our end," said Schreiber, who along with Gerber and senior Nate Schreiber (Hilton, NY/Hilton) serve as captains for the Green and Gold.
"It worked out great, with the ball landing at Austin's feet and he was able to finish the goal. That opened up the game and really put the nail in the coffin. Being so young, the composure we showed when we had our lead trimmed to 2-1, no one was panicking. It was great to see those guys not panic and not give the ball back right away and let the game get out of hand."
Keuka will face D'Youville College at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the final contest of the Classic. D'Youville suffered a 2-0 loss to Wells College in Friday's first Classic game.
The Green and Gold won both games of last year's inaugural Lakefront Classic, beating Pitt-Bradford 2-1 and D'Youville 4-2 as the Storm started the season winning four of their first five games.
All of Keuka's home games take place on the soccer field at the Jephson Community Athletic Complex, and admission is free for fans.
The Lakefront Classic is part of a home-heavy opening to the season for the Storm, who host the first four games of 2013. Keuka welcomes SUNYIT to campus for a 1 p.m. clash on Saturday, Sept. 7 in the NEAC opener before hosting Alfred State for a non-conference clash on Wednesday, Sept. 11.