Oshkosh, Wis. – Despite the inclement weather that delayed the match over three hours, the Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team was able to come away with a 2-1 overtime victory over UW-Superior on J.J. Keller Field on Saturday night. Freshman midfielder Henry Brose (New Richmond, Wis.) played hero and hit the back of the net 6:55 into the first overtime session to allow the Gusties their first overtime victory of the season. Gustavus improves to 2-1-0 overall, while UW-Superior drops to 1-2-1.
“Scrappy game today – we played very well in patches but a performance typical of coming off a loss,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton following the match. “We played a great match against St. Scholastica but got hit with a sucker punch in the second half. That happens and you have to let it go.”
“When we held the ball we dominated and did very well,” continued Middleton, “but at times it was a like hot potato for some players.”
After a scoreless opening half that saw UW-Superior with a slight shots advantage at 5-4, Gustavus was the first to draw blood just 1:17 into the second half. At the 46:17 mark, senior Casey Gilbert (Sr., Marshfield, Wis.) netted his first goal of the season off an assist from Jonathan Balthazar (Fr., Evanston, Ill.) to give the Black and Gold a 1-0 lead.
It took until the 81st minute for the Yellowjackets to notch the equalizer. At the 80:20 mark, UW-Superior’s Brian Grand knocked in the unassisted goal to send the match to overtime tied 1-1.
Middleton was pleased with his team’s play following the goal and was happy with the chances generated with a 1-0 lead. “Then a silly defensive error again and we conceded a goal,” he commented. “The first goal in open play Brett Ylonen has conceded in over 1000 minutes and he was left in the cart by a really poor defensive lapse. Frustrating, but that’s how we gain experience.”
The goal by Henry Brose in overtime was Gustavus’s first overtime winner since Zach Brown (Jr., Eau Claire, Wis.) scored in the 105th minute to give Gustavus a 1-0 win over St. Thomas on Oct. 20, 2012.
“Into overtime and no great panic,” said the head coach. “The experienced players had had enough, taking the bull by the horns. A lovely break forward with David Lilly driving us on like Ben Hur in a chariot race. Five players went with him – busting a gut to get forward – and Zach Brown made a lovely run to take away several defenders. The ball was played to the feet of freshman Henry Brose and he was like the Iceman – the coolest person on the field. With the space of five yards in their penalty box, he slipped past one defender, shimmied by another, cut back on the lunging central defender, and smoothly slipped the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper. His first collegiate goal and perhaps the goal of the season already.”
The match concluded with an even shot total at 11 a side. Gustavus had the corner kick advantage at 5-3.
Gustie keeper Brett Ylonen (Jr., Lake Elmo, Minn.) picked up his second win of the season after allowing one goal and making six saves in 96:55 minutes. Matt Elder suffered the loss in a seven-save outing.
“We wanted the game to win itself, but it doesn’t and you have to want to play,” stated Middleton. “We are very lucky Sean Sendelbach and David Lilly were in majestic form at the midfield. Sean drives us forward like nobody else, and David Lilly is just All-American quality.”
The Gustavus men’s soccer team will have a short turnaround before taking on UW-Oshkosh in its second match of the weekend tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. back on on J.J. Keller Field.
“It’ll be tough tomorrow but I have to admit, I really like this team,” concluded Middleton. “They have talent and character, and when they get it right they are a joy to watch.”