The Gustavus men’s soccer team rounded out its regular season with a 3-1 win over Bethel Saturday afternoon in Arden Hills. The win raised the Gusties’ overall record to 13-2-3 and moved their unbeaten streak to seven games. It also gave Gustavus a share of the MIAC regular season crown with Macalester. Both teams posted a 7-1-2 league record.
Senior Bobby Kroog (Bloomington, Minn.) got the Gusties on the board early, scoring his team-high 11th goal of the season in the fifth minute. Defender Jordan Iblings (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.) was credited with the assist.
Bethel midfielder Ryan VanderVeen scored in the 16th minute to draw the Royals even, but just seven minutes later a foul in the penalty area brought out a red card, forcing Bethel to play the majority of the game one man down. The foul also gave sophomore J.T. Johnson (Tonka Bay, Minn.) an attempt as a penalty kick, which he promptly converted to give the Gusties a 2-1 lead.
Jeff Aasness (Sr., Moorhead, Minn.) added an insurance goal in the 74th minute to provide the final margin. The goal, Aasness’ fifth of the year, was assisted by Johnson and sophomore Mike Butterworth (Anchorage, Alaska).
The Gusties had attempted one other penalty kick this season. The attempt, which was successful, also came by J.T. Johnson in a 3-1 victory at Nebraska Wesleyan on September 10.
Kroog’s 33rd career goal gives him 73 career points (33 G, 7 A) and moves him into a sixth-place tie with Pete Ecklund on the career points list. Ecklund (1994-97) scored 26 goals and 21 assists during his career.
Gusties in MIAC Playoffs
The win drew Gustavus even with Macalester atop the final MIAC standings. The title is the tenth overall for Gustavus, tops amongst MIAC schools, and the ninth for Macalester, all since 1988.
Due to Macalester’s 1-0 win over the Gusties on October 8, the Scots (7-1-2) received the top seed in the MIAC Men’s Soccer Playoffs and will host fourth seed Hamline (5-2-3) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening. The Gusties (7-1-2), seeded second, will host third seed Saint John’s (7-2-1) at 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
The regular season match-ups of each meeting resulted in a tie. Macalester and Hamline played to a 2-2 tie on October 18, while Gustavus and Saint John’s played to the same score on September 24.