The Gustavus men’s soccer team was knocked out of first place in MIAC by the Macalester Scots who claimed a 1-0 victory in Saint Peter on Saturday afternoon. Macalester’s Magnus Oppenheimer scored the game-winning goal very late in the first half (41:29) off an assist from Eddie Powers. The Gusties fall to 7-2-2 overall, and 4-1-1 in the MIAC, while the Scots improve to 9-2-0 overall and 5-1-0 in the MIAC.
The first half play was very fast-paced with both teams able to create several outstanding scoring opportunities. The Gusties got the first big opportunity 18 minutes into the match when sophomore forward Jeffrey Johnson unleashed a shot that hit the post and was cleared away by the Scots. Sixteen minutes later, it was Macalester’s turn to be rebuffed by the post as senior Andrew Wissler hit iron and the Gusties dodged a bullet.
Late in the first half, a quick counter attack by Gustavus resulted in a great opportunity for sophomore midfielder Ben Heupel who found himself alone on the far post. Heupel’s re-direct off a header by Jeffrey Johnson ricocheted off the post onto the foot of a Macalester player who cleared the ball out of the Scot’s defensive end.
Just minutes after Heupel’s miss, the Scot’s converted the lone goal of the game when senior midfielder Eddie Powers drove a cross into the box that was headed into the Gustavus net by senior midfielder Magnus Oppenheimer at the 41:29 mark. Macalester took the 1-0 lead into the intermission.
Macalester dropped several players into its defensive end to protect the lead in the second half and the Gusties’ attack opportunities were very limited. Gustavus did manage to drive the ball into the Macalester net in the 69th minute, however the whistle had blown on a Gustie offsides just prior to the shot being struck.
Gustavus managed a slim 11-9 advantage in shots in the contest and took seven corner kicks compared to four for Macalester. Ryan Palmer earned the win and the shutout in the nets for the Scots. He recorded four saves, including three in the second half. Tyler Garry suffered the loss in the nets for Gustavus. He compiled five saves, four of which were in the first half.
The win by Macalester snapped a four-match winless streak to the Gusties that stretched back through the past two seasons. Gustavus had posted 1-0 and 3-0 wins last season, while claiming a 2-1 win and a 1-1 tie in 2003. With the victory, Macalester moves into a first place tie with St. Thomas with a league mark of 5-1-0. The Gusties fall into a three-way tie for third place with Hamline and Saint John’s, all of whom have marks of 4-1-1.
Gustavus will travel to first place St. Thomas for an important match on Wednesday at 4:00 pm, while Macalester returns home to host Saint John’s at 7:30 pm on Wednesday.