The Gustavus men’s soccer team lost to the Univ. of California-Santa Cruz 1-0 in the NCAA Sectional Final played in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday night. The Gusties completed the most successful season in the program’s history with a record of 18-2-3.
The match was scoreless in the first half and remained knotted at 0-0 until the 60th minute when UC-Santa Cruz forward Matt Marquess sent a hard cross through the Gustavus goal mouth that ricocheted off a Gustavus defender past goalkeeper Andy Moulton. The goal was credited to Bryan Baird of UC-Santa Cruz. The Banana Slug goal was only the fourth goal allowed by Gustavus in 23 games this season. Unfortunately for Gustavus, the own goal turned out to be the game-winner.
UC-Santa Cruz held a 21-6 advantage in shots. Gustavus goalkeeper Andy Moulton made six saves. The Banana Slugs will now advance to play Geneseo State in the NCAA Division III Final Four next weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Gustavus finishes the season with records for wins a season (18), shutouts in a season (18) and fewest goals allowed in a season (4). The Gusties were co-champions of the MIAC, won the MIAC Post-Season Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program’s history.
The Gusties also finished the season ranked #1 in Division III in goals against average (0.14) and fewest goals allowed (4). Individually, goalkeeper Andy Moulton led the nation in goals against average (0.13) for the second consecutive year.
Seniors Nate Hitch (goalkeeper), Andy Moulton (goalkeeper), Taylor Stein (forward), Joe Hartwell (center back) and Chad Ransom (midfielder) wrapped up their Gustavus careers against UC-Santa Cruz.