The Gustavus men’s soccer team came away with a 2-1 overtime victory – its second overtime win of the season – against Saint John’s on Saturday afternoon in Collegeville, Minn. Zach Brown will have a hard time laying in the weeds off the bench from now on as the freshman striker officially became one to keep an eye on after scoring two goals against the Johnnies. No. 20 Gustavus improves to 8-1-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the MIAC, while Saint John’s drops to 4-4-0 overall and 0-3-0 in league play.
“It was a very scrappy game. We showed a lot of character to pull this win out in a game that we didn’t play as well as we are capable of,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton.
After not allowing a shot on Wednesday night in Storm Lake, Iowa, the Gusties faced their fair share today. Saint John’s recorded 19 shots in the contest, nine of which made it through to goalkeeper Brett Ylonen. Gustavus recorded 21 shots, 13 of which in the second half, and seven shots on goal.
After 60 minutes of scoreless play, Zach Brown broke the scoring drought and put in the first goal of the match all alone at the 60:19 mark.
Three minutes later, it was Saint John’s Simon Plata knocking in the equalizer off assists from Josh Whitaker and Lucas Wagner at 63:58.
The two teams played out the rest of regulation without netting the game-winner and the match went into overtime.
With just three minutes remaining in the first extra session, Brown found the back of the net at the 102:55 mark, burying a Grant Steine pass to propel Gustavus to the 2-1 overtime win.
“The three freshman, Zach Brown, David Lilly, and Brett Ylonen were really exceptional,” commented Middleton. “David really controlled the game and Zach scored two goals that Wayne Rooney would have been very proud of.”
Brett Ylonen went the whole 102:55 between the goal posts, allowing the one goal and making seven saves. Ylonen improves to 6-1-0 with the victory.
“The strength of the personality amongst the team is just fantastic. They refuse to lie down despite the fact that we didn’t play as well as we can,” said Middleton.
The Gusties will return to the pitch for a match under the lights at Saint Mary’s in Winona, Minn. on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7:00 p.m.