The Whitworth University men’s soccer team claimed a 2-1 overtime victory over Gustavus Adolphus College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament on Friday night in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Whitworth will now advance to the second round to face the winner of Wartburg/UW-Oshkosh on Saturday, November 10 in Oshkosh, Wis. at 6:00 pm.
Both teams applied pressure in first half as Gustavus held a 6-2 shot advantage, whereas Whitworth had three corner kicks compared to one for the Gusties. Neither team was able to capitalize on the scoring chances as the squads played to a scoreless tie at halftime.
Gustavus struck first when Mike Butterworth (Sr., Katy, Tex.) got past Whitworth goalkeeper Scott Barnum to score his 15th goal of the season on a long pass from Matt Strom (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.) at 59:09. The Golden Gusties entered today’s match undefeated when scoring first.
Gustavus maintained its 1-0 lead until Elly Bulega scored his first goal of the season on a header from Ben Rotert at the 78:59 mark to tie the contest at 1-1. Both times finished regulation tied 1-1.
Neither team attempted a shot in the extra period until Keith Kirsch barely got a shot past Gustie goalkeeper Trevor Brown (Sr., Madison, Wis.) to score the game-winning goal in the 94th minute of play. Kirsch scored his seventh goal of the season on Ben Rotert pass as the Pirates won their 11th match of the season by one goal. Whitworth goalkeeper Scott Barnum recorded four saves, while allowing one goal. Brown made four saves to go along with two goals.
Whitworth improves to 15-3-1, while Gustavus finishes its season at 16-4-1. Whitworth is now 6-3-1 in the NCAA Tournament. Gustavus is now 8-6-5 all-time in the tournament as the Gusties will not reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993.