Following its first win of the 2011 season on Wednesday at Buena Vista, the Gustavus women’s soccer team fell back into the loss column with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the College of Saint Benedict on Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. The loss drops the Gusties to 1-7-0 overall and 0-3-0 in the MIAC, while the Blazers improve to 3-4-0 overall and 2-1-0 in conference play.
The contest was a back-and-forth possession battle throughout the first period, but the Blazers took advantage of a corner kick in the 39th minute to go ahead 1-0. Paige Olson sent the corner kick in front of the Gustavus goal where Heather Beshears found the lower-left corner of the goal – her first goal of the season.
After the break, the Blazers put heavy pressure on the Gustie defense by keeping the ball in the Gustavus zone for most of the second period. Saint Ben’s took six shots in the first 19 minutes of the half before finding the back of the net at the 67:02 mark, increasing its lead to 2-0. Beshears broke away from the Gustie defense at midfield and booted the ball ahead to Laura Kosch down to the right wing where Kosch placed her shot right over the head of Gustavus goalkeeper Jessica Richert into the top-left corner of the goal.
“Obviously I’m disappointed we didn’t win,” Gustavus Head Coach Mike Stehlik said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to score a goal. But in terms of the players playing hard, I thought our performance was better than the last couple days. We’ve just got to figure out a way to score a goal and go forward there. But great attitude, great effort, great group of players and we’ve just got to take it one day at a time.”
Saint Ben’s tallied 20 shots in the contest compared to nine by Gustavus. Megan Favorite recorded four saves in goal for the victors, while Richert made 10 saves.
Gustavus continues MIAC action at home against Saint Mary’s University on Wednesday. The match-up begins at 4:00 p.m. on the Gustie Soccer Field.
“Each conference game,” Stehlik acknowledged, “Like I told them [Gustie players], is a new game. Whatever we did before doesn’t matter, what we’re going to do the next week doesn’t matter, it’s just today. So we’ve got to come out, get ready for Saint Mary’s and go forward.”