The Gustavus men’s soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament by defeating Wartburg College in a shootout on Thursday afternoon in St. Peter, Minnesota. The two teams battled to a 0-0 tie through two overtimes before Gustavus claimed the victory by winning the shutout 2-0. Gustavus will now move on to play the University of Redlands in Redlands, California on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm (Central Standard Time).
The first half was very evenly played with each team creating a couple of solid scoring opportunities. Gustavus appeared to have the best opportunity of the opening frame when Jordan Iblings got loose on a breakaway down the left wing and got off a strong shot from about 15 yards out which was knocked down and recovered by Wartburg goalkeeper Collin Lane. The Gusties outshot the Knights 8-3 in the first half.
Gustavus picked up the pace early in the second half and controlled play for much of the first 20 minutes. The Gusties outshot the Knights 6-2 during that time. Gustavus created probably their best scoring opportunity of the match during that stretch when Taylor Stein received a pass from midfielder Bobby Kroog on the left side of the net at the six-yard line. Stein redirected the ball to the right corner, but the shot rolled just wide of the right goal post. Wartburg created its best opportunity in regulation play at the 71:06 mark when Jeremy McEver sent a looping shot into the heart of the Gustavus goal mouth that Gustavus goalkeeper Andrew Moulton managed to punch out to the left of the penalty box. The Gusties turned up the intensity in the final three minutes of regulation play and created several different scoring opportunities but each was turned away by Wartburg goalkeeper Collin Lane.
In the first overtime, the Gusties continued to pressure the Knights and created two more scoring opportunities. With under a minute remaining in the first overtime Wartburg keeper Lane was whistled for pulling down Gustavus forward Taylor Stien in the penalty box and the Gusties were awarded a penalty kick. With the match hanging in the balance Gustavus midfielder Scott Storlie sent his shot sailing over the crossbar giving Wartburg new life.
In the second overtime, Wartburg had the better of the play and created two excellent scoring opportunities. At the 101:44 mark, Knight forward Scott Hill ripped a shot past Gustavus keeper Moulton but it was blocked by Gustie defender Joe Palmer and played out of the Gustavus end. The second overtime ended with the score tied at 0-0 thus forcing the shootout.
In the shootout, both teams failed to score on their first two opportunities. Both Gustavus shots were saved by Lane, while one Wartburg shot hit the post and bounced away and the other sailed wide left. In the third round, midfielder Bobby Kroog scored to give the Gusties a 1-0 lead and then Wartburg missed its third shot wide left. Gustavus increased its lead to 2-0 when defender Joe Palmer scored. The match ended when Wartburg’s fourth shot sailed wide left, giving Gustavus the win and the opportunity to move on to the second round.
Gustavus outshot Wartburg 23-11 in the match and held a 8-2 advantage in corner kicks. Gustavus goalkeeper Andrew Moulton recorded four saves, while Wartburg’s Collin Lane recorded nine saves.
The Gusties extended their current unbeaten string to 15 matches (11 wins and four ties). Gustavus has allowed only two goals in its past 12 matches with ten shutouts.