The Gustavus men’s soccer team picked up an important 2-0 win over Hamline in St. Paul on Wednesday afternoon. The Gusties got an early goal from Alex Groth (Sr., Waupaca, Wis.) then iced the win with an open net goal by Mike Butterworth (Jr., Katy, Texas) in the final moments. Tyler Garry (Sr., Sioux Falls, South Dakota) recorded his ninth shutout of the season in the nets for Gustavus. The Gusties are now 12-1-1 overall and 7-1-0 in the MIAC, while the Pipers fall to 10-3-1 overall, and 5-2-1 in the MIAC.
Gustavus opened the scoring in the sixth minute of play when Matt Strom (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.) sent a corner kick into the box that was deflected by an unidentified player. The deflection was gathered by Gustie forward Alex Groth who sent it past Hamline goalkeeper Andrew Clement (Jr., Victoria, Minn.) giving Gustavus a 1-0 lead.
The match was evenly played with both teams unable to convert on multiple scoring chances. Late in the first half, Hamline’s Courtney Duffield (Fy., Milan, Ill.) rattled a shot off the Gustie crossbar and then early in the second half, Tyler Garry came up with a big save on a Piper shot, however the rebound ended up on the foot of Hamline’s Jeremy Wade (Sr., Oregon, Wis.) who sent it toward the Gustavus goal line. Fortunately for the Gusties, sophomore defender Flynn Stewart-Franzen (So., Minneapolis, Minn.) was there to stop the shot and play the ball out for Gustavus. Later in the second half, Mike Butterworth broke through the Hamline defense and sent a strong shot on goal that Clement saved for the Pipers.
Late in the contest, as Hamline was pressuring to tie the match, the Pipers put a corner kick into the box that was headed out by the Gusties. Junior forward Tim Gendron (Burnsville, Minn.) won a foot race to the free ball and sent it up the middle of the field past the Hamline goalkeeper who was up in the Gustavus end of the field. Gustie forward Mike Butterworth, who was standing at the midfield line, raced onto the ball and dribbled it into the Hamline net for the final goal at the 89:43 mark.
The victory kept Gustavus in first place in the MIAC with a record of 7-1-0 and a total of 14 points. Augsburg (5-1-2–12 points), who the Gusties play in Minneapolis next Wednesday night, is currently in a second place tie with Saint John’s (6-1-0–12 points).
Gustavus will travel to California this weekend to play the University of California at Santa Cruz on Sunday (2 pm Pacific Time) and the University of California at East Bay on Monday (2 pm Pacific Time). UC-Santa Cruz is currently rated #4 in the most recent d3kicks.com Division III poll, while the Gusties are rated #11.