Bret Vander Streek (So., Pella, Iowa) broke a scoreless tie early in the second half to help the Gustavus men’s soccer team win its second straight MIAC Tournament by defeating St. Olaf 2-0 Saturday afternoon in St. Peter. Gustavus has won four of the five MIAC Post-Season Tournaments and every final the team has played in. With the victory, the Gusties earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, making its fourth consecutive appearance.
Coach Zelenz’s squad was the aggressor early in the match outshooting St. Olaf 6-1 in the first half and earning six corner kicks. However, Gustavus was not able to take advantage of the offensive pressure as both squads played to a 0-0 tie at halftime.
St. Olaf gained momentum at the start of the second half, forcing the Golden Gusties to play defense for an extensive period of time. When it appeared the Oles were seizing control of the contest, Stefan Kolis (So., Eau Claire, Wis.) pushed the ball up the left side of the field before sending a pass towards Vander Streek on the right side of the field. Vander Streek got between two defenders and hit a header that froze St. Olaf goalkeeper Kevin Friede finding the bottom right corner of the net giving Gustavus a 1-0 lead at 60:46. Vander Streek has scored in three consecutive matches for Gustavus.
The goal enabled the Gusties to dictate play for the remainder of the contest as Gustavus is 16-0-0 when scoring first. Gustavus added an insurance goal when Vander Streek crossed a ball from left to right to find Mike Butterworth (Sr., Katy, Tex.). Butterworth moved the ball upfield and flipped the ball past the goalkeeper to the bottom left corner of the net from 15 yards out as two St. Olaf defenders were coming towards him in the 78th minute. With his 14th goal of the season, Butterworth moved into 10th-place on the Gustavus all-time career points list with 65 points.
Gustie goalkeeper Trevor Brown (Sr., Madison, Wis.) tallied his 12th shutout of the season making two saves to improve his record to 13-1-1 on the season. St. Olaf goalkeeper Kevin Friede made three saves, while allowing two goals. St. Olaf dropped to 11-9-0 overall with the loss.
Gustavus, who improved to 16-3-1, earned the MIAC automatic bid into the NCAA tournament where the Gusties will make their fifth consecutive appearance. The Gusties will learn who they play Monday, November 5 when the NCAA Selection Committee will post tournament information at 11 am EST.