The Wartburg College men’s soccer team defeated Gustavus Adolphus College 1-0 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament on Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minnesota. Wartburg will now advance to the Sectional Tournament to face Wheaton College (IL) on Friday, November 17 at a site and time yet to be determined.
The winning goal was an own goal in the 80th minute. Wartburg’s Harrison Kibombo-Lugujjo drove a hard shot from the right side at Gustavus goalkeeper Tyler Garry. The ball deflected off Garry’s hands and onto the foot of Gustavus defender Flynn Stewart-Franzen who was moving toward the goal around the six-yard line. As Stewart-Franzen attempted to clear the ball it hit the crossbar and bounced into the Gustavus net.
The match was very evenly contested and both teams had numerous scoring opportunities. Wartburg’s Kibombo-Lugujjo tested Garry in the first half with a shot to the far post. Garry dove and grabbed the ball cleanly out of the air. Casey Johnson also had a good opportunity for the Knights when he directed a blast from the top of the box the Garry deflected over the crossbar leading to a Wartburg corner kick. Leading 1-0, the Knights had a penalty kick opportunity in the 86th minute when Luke McClyman was pulled down on a breakaway opportunity. Wartburg’s Casey Johnson took the penalty kick, however it sailed wide right.
Gustavus had a tremendous opportunity in the 35th minute when Matt Broin headed a corner kick to the lower right corner of the net that was stopped by Wartburg midfielder Geoff Miller on the goal line. In the second half, Gustie forward Mike Butterworth broke free and drove a left-footed shot towards the lower right corner of the Wartburg net. The shot caromed off the goal post and back into the field of play.
Wartburg out-shot Gustavus 17-14 in the contest and held an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks. Wartburg goalkeeper Matt Shepard made four saves and recorded his eighth shutout of the season. Gustavus goalkeeper Tyler Garry recorded six saves.
Wartburg improves to 19-2-1, while Gustavus completes its season at 18-3-1. Wartburg is now 6-2-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and advances to the Sectional Round for the third consecutive year. Gustavus is now 8-5-5 all-time in the tournament and has its string of consecutive trips to the Sectional Round stopped at two. The Gusties advanced to Final Four last season before losing 1-0 to Messiah College in the National Championship match.