Duluth, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 loss on the road to the College of St. Scholastica Wednesday at Saints Field. St. Scholastica’s Joe Watt took advantage of a penalty kick in the 51st minute of the match, beating goalkeeper Brett Ylonen (Jr., Lake Elmo, Minn.) under his right arm to allow the Saints the 1-0 regional victory. Gustavus moves to 1-1-0 with the loss, while St. Scholastica earns its first win of the season and is now 1-1-1.
“We’re disappointed in the loss but we always talk about performance rather than results,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. ”Today was just one of those days when we could all see the performance, but the result didn’t follow. A great learning experience for us and this will set us in good stead for the season to come.”
Neither team could break the 0-0 tie through the first 45 minutes of the match, as Gustavus outshot the Saints 4-2 within the half. Saint goalkeeper Adam Hewitt was challenged twice in the first 13 minutes, turning Gustavus’s Zach Brown (Jr., Eau Claire, Wis.) away twice on a pair of shots within that time.
“We played really well today, especially in the first half when it was all hands to the pumps from their perspective just to keep their team in the game,” s Middleton. ”We created a number of opportunities but frustratingly we couldn’t capitalize.”
A foul on Gustavus inside the box allowed for Watt’s penalty kick goal at the 50:15 mark.
“The pattern of the game was set,” commented Middleton. ”The second half saw their team defending stoutly. Then, as luck would have it, they hit us on the break and we conceded a bit of a needless penalty, which they duly converted. Very frustrating and typically soccer.”
Despite an increased attack that recorded nine shots over the remaining 40 minutes, Gustavus was unable to find the equalizer. Hewitt turned away all five shots he faced in the second half, allowing him the shutout in an eight-save effort.
Gustavus finished with a 13-6 edge in shots and an 8-1 advantage in corner kick opportunities in the match. In what was a physical outing, the final foul tally showed an even 13 per side. A total of seven yellow cards were handed out, six of which went to the Saints.
Middleton was pleased with his club’s determination in the later stages of the match. ”They metaphorically parked the bus in front of their goal – and who could blame them,” he added. “To the infinite credit of the lads, we created several chances hitting the bar and the post and having one cleared of the line. We could have had three in the last five minutes, but it was not to be.”
Brett Ylonen (1-1-0) succumbed to a loss after making two saves in 90 minutes. Despite it being scored on a penalty kick, Ylonen’s goal allowed today was just his first in regulation or overtime since Sept. 29, 2012. The junior did not allow a single goal for a span 1,009:55 regulation and overtime minutes over the course of 11 games beginning last season on Oct. 5 against Bethel.
The Gustavus men’s soccer team will be back on the pitch Saturday, Sept. 7 when it travels to Oshkosh, Wis. to take on UW-Superior at 3:30 p.m.