COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Goals are coming at a historic rate for Chris Wondolowski.
On Saturday night, the Earthquakes star recorded a hat trick in a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
In helping the Quakes (19-6-7, 64 points) secure the top seed for the Western Conference playoffs, Wondolowski became the team's all-time leading scorer and moved closer to the league's single-season scoring mark.
"It doesn't matter where he plays; he scores goals," Quakes head coach Frank Yallop said.
Wondolowski now has 62 career goals as a Quake, breaking the old mark by Ronald Cerritos (1997-2001 and 2005), who had 61.
"It means a lot. I grew up a Quakes fan ... but also a Ronald Cerritos fan," Wondolowski said. "I was also fortunate to play a year and a half with him, and I learned a lot from him."
Wondolowski increased his league-leading goal total to 25 this season. That's the fourth-best single season total in league history and the most since Mamadou Diallo had 26 for Tampa Bay in 2000. With two games to play, he has a chance at the single-season league record of 27 goals, by Tampa Bay's Roy Lassiter in 1996.
"It's definitely going to be a huge task to do it, but I know there will be chances out there and I know it'll be on me to finish them," he said.
After the game, Yallop said there's "no chance" Wondolowski will be challenged for league MVP honors this season. On a frigid night against
Less than two minutes into the game, Marvin Chavez got the Quakes on the board with just his second goal of the season. Nine minutes later, Wondolowski scored his first goal.
Wondolowski added two more goals in the second half and the Quakes came within moments of a shutout.
Goalkeeper Jon Busch made four saves, but the Rapids scored on a penalty kick by Andre Akpan in extra time. The Quakes' Jason Hernandez was given a red card for the foul against Akpan and will have to sit out the next game, Oct. 21 against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
That was about the only negative for the Quakes on Saturday, though, as they wrapped up their first regular season conference title since 2005 -- the year before the original Quakes moved to Houston. This is the first time in five seasons that the reborn Quakes have finished higher than sixth.
Should Columbus defeat Eastern Conference-leading Sporting KC on Sunday, the Quakes will wrap up the Supporters' Shield, which goes to the team with the best record in the league.
"That's the biggest deal is securing the top in the West, but also inching a little bit closer to that Supporters' Shield," Wondolowski said. "That's a huge goal of ours, as well. Tomorrow we'll be Columbus fans."