After scoring six goals in each of his first two seasons on varsity, Cameron Gerber added to that total in impressive fashion in Boulder’s Class 5A state tournament-opening win Wednesday night.
The Panthers junior scored three goals to record his first career hat trick in an 8-0 handling of Hinkley.
Boulder, which finished the regular season 12-2-1 (8-1-1 5A Front Range League), earned itself a No. 1 seed in the 5A state playoffs and made quick work of No. 32 Hinkley.
With Boulder up 2-0 late in the second half, Gerber scored his first goal when he received a pass from senior Calvin Pielke and created a one-on-one opportunity. He won that battle and curved a shot from nearly behind the net and past the Hinkley goalkeeper. The goal gave Boulder a commanding 3-0 lead on its home turf of Recht Field.
The Panthers’ next goal came nine minutes into the second half when Gerber again found the back of the net. He wasn’t done yet, however, and scored once more three minutes later to orchestrate the hat trick uninterrupted.
Gerber said that after coming close a few times early in the game, his teammates eventually paved the way for his three goals.
“I missed a couple in the first half, but I think my teammates really set me up for success,” Gerber said. “I had some good chances and just put them away.”
He estimated that his last hat trick came about three years ago in club soccer. Simply approaching the game with a good attitude helped fuel his success, Gerber believed.
“I came into this game with a super good feeling,” he said. “I just felt super energized, and the chances fell for me.”
Prior to his first season on varsity during the COVID-19 delayed spring 2021 season, Gerber’s teammates and BHS head coach Hardy Kalisher knew he contained something special and named him Boulder’s first-ever sophomore captain.
“Cameron’s got all the tools to be an exceptional player and he showed a lot of that tonight,” Kalisher said. “He’s been working really hard to find his groove and he’s really found it in the last three games. He’s about peaking at the right time.”
Kalisher also gave credit to senior goalkeeper Seamus Keller, who pitched a playoff shutout in his fourth career high school game.
The win allows Boulder to host Front Range League rival and No. 17-seed Fossil Ridge in the second round on Nov. 2. Fossil Ridge escaped its first round matchup by beating Cherry Creek in a shootout.