142-76-14 (.642) record since 2001
PELLA—Goals haven’t come easily for the Central College men’s soccer team this year but they came in a flurry for forward Brett McKenzie (junior, Lindenhurst, Ill., Antioch HS) Saturday as he scored a record-tying four goals in a 4-2 victory over Coe College.
McKenzie’s fireworks helped keep the Dutch in the hunt for an Iowa Conference tournament berth, improving to 2-5 in the league and 7-9 overall. He tied the school scoring mark achieved three times in 2004, twice by Kyle Halfpop and once by Nick Mohwinkle. Halfpop is now a Central assistant coach. McKenzie now has a team-high 10 goals for the season.
“Brett’s an important player for our team,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “Big players show up at important times and we needed him today.”
Coe (6-9-2 overall, 2-4-1 conference) had grabbed an early lead, scoring off a free kick in the fifth minute. But McKenzie responded just three minutes later with a header off a corner kick by midfielder Leland Schipper (sophomore, Ankeny).
“Our response was terrific,” Laidlaw said. “We’ve had a little trouble scoring goals and to answer back as quickly as we did was a key to the rest of the game.”
McKenzie put Central on top in the 33rd minute with a header on a rebound of a shot by midfielder Jonathan Schroeder (sophomore, Saint Charles, Ill., North HS) and it was 2-1 at intermission.
McKenzie scored on a penalty kick in the 49th minute, then knocked home another header with another assist from Schipper to make it 4-1 in the 53rd minute. Coe scored on a penalty kick four minutes later but the Dutch defense held its ground the rest of the way.
“We knew we’d have to defend well,” Laidlaw said. “Coe has got some very talented players and they’re always going to push. But I thought we played a smart game, especially in the second half.”
Central was outshot 20-15. Goalkeeper Quincy Garner (junior, Pella) made four saves.
The Dutch play their final home game Tuesday, a non-conference game with Augustana (Ill.). The Vikings are 6-7-2 after a 1-1 draw with Illinois Wesleyan Saturday. Game time has been moved up to 3 p.m. at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field.