INDIANOLA, Iowa — Garrett Pochop recorded his first career hat-trick, adding a pair of assists, and the Simpson men's soccer team scored five unanswered goals in the final 40 minutes to pull away for a 7-2 win over Buena Vista in the regular season finale Tuesday.
Simpson found itself in a 2-2 tie with Buena Vista early in the second half before Donevan Roe netted the go-ahead goal in the 61st minute, paving the way for five-straight down the stretch.
"We were able to sustain pressure for a majority of the game," head coach Rick isaacson said. "Their goalkeeper kept them in the game in the first half but late in the game I think they fatigued a little bit."
Pochop's three goals increased his season-total to 19, the second-most in a single season in school history. Tanner Alderson continued his late-season tear with two goals and Nick Joslyn added one for the Storm (11-7-1, 5-3 Iowa Conference), who won five of their last six to finish in a four-way tie for second place in the league standings.
Due to conference tiebreaking criteria, Simpson gets the No. 5 seed in the IIAC Tournament and will travel to play No. 4 seed Central on Saturday. The winner will play top-seeded Loras next Wednesday.
Pochop is now just two goals shy of tying Simpson's school record of 21 set in 2000. His eight points Tuesday are the most by a Simpson player since 2003.
"He's had a tremendous season," Isaacson said. "To be honest, nobody is surprised with the individual success he's experienced this season. He's a terrific soccer player. He's having the sort of season that will be one for the history books."
Willy Salamanca and Steve Nyaye scored goals and Matt Tennyson made 14 saves in goal for the Beavers (5-12-1, 1-7), who saw 40 shots -- 21 on goal -- from a relentless Storm attack.
Pochop scored two goals in the first half -- the second coming off an assist from Buena Vista transfer Tyler Smaha -- as Simpson took a 2-1 lead at halftime. Nyaye netted the equalizer for Buena Vista in the 58th minute.
Roe scored the go-ahead tally on a helper form Darius Doswell in the 61st minute. The score remained 3-2 before Simpson scored four goals in a span of 8 minutes, sparked by Alderson's score from 10 yards out.
Pochop completed his hat-trick in the 80th minute, Joslyn added a goal in the 81st minute and Alderson scored his seventh goal in the last five games in the 84th minute.