St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team captured its first conference win of the season in a 3-1 victory over Saint Mary’s on Wednesday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. The Gusties scored their first goal in the 7th minute and would not look back on their way to the two-goal win. Gustavus improves to 5-4-0 overall (1-3-0 MIAC), while Saint Mary’s falls to 0-9-0 (0-4-0 MIAC) on the year.
It took less than two full minutes for Gustavus to break open the scoring for the afternoon when Maddison Ackiss (Fy., Fairbanks, Alaska) scored her fifth goal of the season at the 1:45 mark. Ackiss took a cross from Heather Goff (Jr., Eagan, Minn.) and proceeded to bury it in the back of the net to give the Gusties a 1-0 lead.
Later in the half, Monica Pelkey (Fy., Oak Grove, Minn.) scored her first collegiate goal to put Gustavus in front 2-0 with just 5:02 to play in the opening frame. Coursey Edwards (Fy., Eden Prairie, Minn.) made a nice play along the goal line and centered a pass in front where Pelkey finished the play off with a left-footed strike that found its way past Saint Mary’s goalkeeper Aubrie Cornell for Gustavus’s second goal of the afternoon.
“We moved the ball really well, especially in the first half,” mentioned Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie. “We came out strong, which was one of our goals coming into today, and we also saw some of the things we have been working on in practice carry over to the game today, so that is always nice to see.”
Gustavus struck again within the opening minutes of the second half. Amanda Cartony (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.) needed just 2:10 after the break to score her fifth goal of the season. After controlling the ball, Cartony spun and fired a rifle from outside the 18-yard line on the left wing. The shot whistled its way into the back of the net to extend the Gustavus lead to 3-0.
Saint Mary’s would fight back with a goal off the head of Kelli Harstad at the 85:08 mark, but it was all the Cardinals could manage in the two-goal loss. Caroline Olson was awarded the win, her fifth of the season, after facing only six shots on the day. Olson allowed one goal and made two saves. Aubrie Cornell suffered the loss for Saint Mary’s, allowing three goals and making seven saves in 13 shots faced.
“We came out very strong in both halves,” said Pelkey of her team’s play. “We scored in the opening minutes of each half, which was a lot of fun, and we played hard all the way through.”
The Gusties will be back in action on Saturday, when they travel to Northfield, Minn., for an MIAC showdown with rival St. Olaf. Saturday’s kick off is set for 1:00 p.m.
“We have to keep working on our creativity,” finished Burnett-Kurie. “Our players are starting to become more comfortable with the freedom that we give them on the field. They are starting to try new things and be more creative when they are out there. I think our movement off the ball has been key lately, so we will continue to work on that heading into this weekend.”