Head Coach Mike Middleton has praised his team’s ability to find new ways to attack the net and score throughout this season. Wednesday against Buena Vista was different. It was not the Gusties’ ability to score, but rather their ability to not allow their opponent to score that turned heads. In fact, Gustavus took the term “shutout” to a whole new level in Storm Lake, Iowa by not allowing a single registered shot in its 5-0 win over the Beavers.
The No. 20 Gusties improve 7-1-0 with the non-conference victory, while Buena Vista drops to 3-4-0. It is the first time since 2003 that a Gustavus team has held its opponent to zero shots in contest. Nearly eight years ago to the day, on Sept. 23, 2003, the Gusties didn’t allow Northwestern College a look at the goal in a 2-0 victory in St. Peter, Minn.
“The team played very well and it’s a very pleasing result,” said Mike Middleton. “We dominated possession and knocked the ball around really well. At times Doug Frey and David Lilly looked like Xavi and Iniesta at the center-midfield.”
Gustavus finished with its second-highest shot total of the season with 29 shots, 15 of which were on goal.
The Gusties took a 2-0 lead into the locker rooms thanks to goals by Kyle Sadler and Zack Brown in the 11th and 23rd minutes of the match. Sadler knocked in a Mark Adam’s assist at 11:34 to put Gustavus up 1-0, and Zack Brown buried a Jackson Zoellner corner kick at 23:22 to go up 2-0.
Zoellner, who finished with a season-high four points in the match, scored a goal of his own off a corner by Adams at the 56:20 mark to make it a 3-0 match. Zoellner returned the favor by hooking Adams up with an assist that led to Gustavus’ fourth goal three minutes later. The Adams/Zoellner combination has combined for 32 points so far this season. Adams leads the team with seven goals and five assists, while Zoellner has three goals and seven assists.
Bryan Bjork capped the game with his first goal of the season off a Lucas Thompson assist in the 83rd minute, making the final score 5-0.
Dustin Drobbels suffered the loss in nets, allowing five goals and making ten saves. Brett Ylonen improved to 5-1-0 on the year with his fourth shutout of the season.
“We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground and keep playing well with a conference game coming up this Saturday at Saint John’s. We’re all looking forward to it,” commented Middleton.
The Gusties will take on Saint John’s University on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 1:00 p.m. in Collegeville, Minn.