The Gustavus men’s soccer team claimed an important 2-1 conference win over Macalester in St. Paul on Friday night. Freshman defender Justin Eglseder took a pass from Skylar Schulz and drove a ball past Scot goalkeeper Mark Mullaney from the six-yard line in the 109th minute. The win allowed the Gusties to clinch a spot in the MIAC Playoffs for the sixth consecutive year.
The two teams battled to a scoreless tie through the first 45 minutes, but then the Gusties took a 1-0 lead when Bret VanderStreek took a pass from Skylar Schulz as he was sprinting up the right side of the field. VanderStreek took one touch to control the ball and then ripped a shot from just inside the 18-yard line that blew past Scot goalkeeper Mullaney and into the lower left corner of the net in the 53rd minute
Macalester battled back and tied the score at 1-1 when Ryan Marshall headed a pass from teammate Jake Rocke past Gustavus goalkeeper Luke Strom from six yards out in the 64th minute. The two teams battled up and down the field in the final 26 minutes of regulation play, but neither team could find the net for the winning goal.
In the first overtime, Gustavus held a 2-0 advantage in shots and one required Mullaney to come up with a big save, but the score remained tied after 100 minutes. In the second overtime, the Gusties started to put some pressure on the Scots and came up with three strong scoring opportunities. In the 107th minute, Skylar Schulz forced Mullaney to come up with a save and then in the 108th minute Eglseder ripped a shot that went over the crossbar. The Gusties continued to attack the Scot net and Eglseder final found a way to get the ball past Mullaney and allow Gustavus to claim a thrilling 2-1 victory.
The Gusties held a 17-10 advantage in shots and a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks. Mullaney recorded three saves for Macalester, while Strom registered two saves for Gustavus.
The Gusties are now 11-4-1 overall and 7-2-0 in the MIAC, while Macalester falls to 9-7-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the MIAC.
The win allowed Gustavus to stay in the hunt for their fifth consecutive MIAC title, while the loss put a serious dent in Macalester’s hopes to finish in the top four and qualify for the MIAC Playoffs. The Gusties have one league game remaining and it is a big one against St. Thomas on Saturday, Nov. 1. Gustavus and Carleton each have one conference match left to play, while St. Thomas and Augsburg each have two league games left to play. All four teams still have a mathematical chance to at least claim a share of the conference title.