The Gustavus men’s soccer team moved its record to 8-2-3 with a 3-1 non-conference win over UC-Santa Cruz. UC-Santa Cruz, which entered the match ranked fourth nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, dropped to 10-1-1.
The Gusties jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 22 minutes into the game as senior Caleb Bousu (Burnsville, Minn.) took a pass from deep in the box from junior Alex Groth (Waupaca, Wis.) and placed it past Banana Slug keeper Chris Pederson for the goal.
Senior Bobby Kroog (Bloomington, Minn.) increased the lead to 2-0 in the 52nd minute redirecting a Jordan Iblings (Sr., Anchorage, Alaska) free kick past a stunned Pederson. Groth would add his sixth goal of the year in the 72nd minute, taking a lead pass from sophomore J.T. Johnson (Tonka Bay, Minn.).
UC-Santa Cruz avoided the shutout with a goal by Bryan Baird in the 79th minute. It was Baird’s 14th goal of the season.
For the match, the Banana Slugs out-shot the Gusties, 11-7, and held a 10-0 advantage in corner kicks.
Tyler Garry (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) picked up three saves to claim the win in net for the Gusties. Garry is now 6-1-1 on the season.
Bousu and Kroog each moved closer to the top of the Gustavus all-time offensive stats lists. Kroog’s goal, the 28th of his career, moves him into a sixth-place tie on the career goals list with Mark Altman (1978-81). The goal also moved him into ninth place on the career points list with 63. Bousu with 24 goals, 13 assists and 61 points, finds himself in a tenth-place tie on both the career points and goals lists, while ranking 12th on the career assists list.
The Gusties will return to MIAC action Tuesday afternoon with a home match against Augsburg. UC-Santa Cruz will face St. Olaf on Sunday in Northfield before traveling back to the West Coast.