Cyle Larin turned in his best performance in a memorable rookie season with Orlando City SC Friday night.
After nearly two months without scoring a goal, the No. 1 pick out of UConn finally broke the Major League Soccer record for goals by a rookie, scoring his 12th goal of the season in the 23rd minute of Orlando's 5-2 win over the New York Red Bulls. Larin towered over several New York players to score with a thunderous header off a corner kick.
Larin's goal pushed him past Damani Ralph, another former Husky, who held the rookie record with 11 goals in 2003.
He was not done there, however. Larin scored again before halftime to give Orlando City a 2-1 lead. He scored again on a counter attack with a rocket of a shot to complete his second hat trick of the season. The first came in a 5-3 loss at Yankee Stadium against New York City FC.
According to ESPN's Paul Carr, Larin's 14th goal of the season was as historic as the 12th.
Cyle Larin's hat trick last night made him the first @MLS rookie with two hat tricks, among other accomplishments: pic.twitter.com/QQCYpjiZoD— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) September 26, 2015
Larin is having a historic season in Orlando, arguably the best of any rookie in MLS history. Following a scoreless trip to the CONCACAF Gold Cup with Canada, he has been a man on a mission, scoring eight of his 14 goals since his return in July. His goal total should only rise. When Larin starts scoring, he is hard to stop, as many UConn fans know well.
Here are the full highlights from Larin's historic night.