The Gustavus women’s soccer needed almost all of the 90 minutes to squeak out a 1-0 victory over Hamline University on a gorgeous afternoon for Gustavus’ Homecoming. Mackenzie Del Santro scored her first goal of the season as she collected a rebound from Piper goalkeeper Liz Stock and tapped the ball into the empty net with only 2:45 remaining on the clock. The win moves Gustavus to 4-5-2 on the season (2-2-1 in the MIAC), while Hamline falls to 5-6-0 overall and 1-5-0 in MIAC play.
At the start of the match, both teams battled for control of the ball in the midfield. Gustavus was able to generate a great scoring chance with under three minutes remaining in the half when sophomore Julien Babel intercepted an errant Piper pass at the midfield line and made a quick pass to junior Chelsea Craven. Craven got the ball at the top of the box and had her shot saved by Hamline goalkeeper Stock, who came away from her goal to cut the angle of the shot. The best chance for the Pipers came in the 22nd minute when a shot by sophomore Jamie Kelly slid past Gustavus goalkeeper Ashley Ohlson and bounced off the right post and rolled harmlessly out of bounds. The Gusties held a 7-3 advantage in shots through the first half and a slim 3-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Starting the second half, Gustavus looked like a whole new team and came out with great passion and intensity. They controlled the ball for the majority of the 45 minutes and out shot the Pipers by a wide 11-0 margin. The Gusties had several excellent chances in the half to gain the lead, but Stock, with some help from the post, was able to stop the attack and keep the match tied at zero. Sophomore Ashley Anderson had her shot hit the post as it beat Stock in the 48th minute and in the 75th minute, senior Christy Tupy played the ball right in front of the goal to junior Kirsten Thulien, who had her shot sail just over the crossbar.
Gustavus was finally able to get on the scoreboard with under three minutes remaining in regulation when Anderson got the ball in front of the Gustavus bench and made a pass to a streaking Tupy down the middle of the field. Tupy took the ball in stride and beat the last Hamline defender with a quick sidestep. As she ran towards goal, Liz Stock came out to cut down her angle and Tupy fired a high shot that Stock blocked away. However, the ball landed right at the feet of Del Santro, who was rushing the goal on the play. Del Santro took a quick touch and then shot the ball into the back of the empty goal giving the Gusties a 1-0 lead. With a couple quick defensive substitutions by coach Mike Stehlik, Gustavus held onto the lead and came away with a one-goal conference victory.
Despite not making any saves, Gustie goalkeeper Ashley Ohlson was aggressive and made sure the potent Piper attack was not able to generate any more chances. She improves her record to 3-3-2, while posting four shutouts. The Pipers’ Liz Stock finished the match with eight saves, but falls to 2-6-0 on the season.
The Gusties will remain home for their next match against the Auggies from Augsburg College this Tuesday, October 7. The match is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m.