Gustavus Adolphus junior defender Lucas Thompson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) has been named a Midseason All-American by writer Christan Shirk of D3soccer.com. Thompson is one of 11 players from across the nation to be highlighted for both their individual and team success to date.
Thompson, who has scored one and one assist this season, is part of a Gustavus defensive unit that has proven to be one of the toughest in the nation to score on. Paired with fellow upperclassmen Justin Eglseder (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Ben Ceder (Oregon, Wis.) on the backline, the trio has played a key role the team’s 10 shutouts this season. The Gusties are currently fifth in NCAA Division III in shutout percentage (0.67) and sixth in goals against average (0.39).
“Lucas Thompson, Justin Eglseder, Ben Ceder, Zach Schmith and Evan Odean can be justifiably proud. Of course, they would rightly say that it is really a team thing,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton about the recognition received by his veteran group of defenders.
Coach Middleton attributes much of the team’s defensive success to the experience of this year’s upperclassmen and their ability to buy into the system set in place. Middleton gives a great deal of credit to the framework and structure built by past squads, giving praise also to the play of his goalkeepers (past and present), one of which being Luke Strom who led the nation in goals against average last year.
“We are pretty much the same defense, conceding only six goals in the fifteen games this year,” commented Middleton. “We’ve added freshman goalkeeper Brett Ylonen who has started most of the games of course and who has also been outstanding. But our defense to a man has been absolutely terrific.”
Through five MIAC contests, the Gusties have allowed three goals (2nd/MIAC) and are outshooting their opponents 165-to-90. Justin Eglseder leads the group in scoring with 15 points on six goals and three assists. He ranks second among MIAC defenders in scoring thus far.
The Gustavus soccer team moved up in both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and D3soccer.com polls following last week’s 2-0 performance with a pair of 2-1 wins over Hamline and Augsburg. The Gusties are currently ranked No. 11 in the NSCAA poll and No. 9 in the D3soccer.com poll.
The Gusties enter the week at 13-1-1 overall and 6-1-1 in the MIAC, sitting in a tie for first place alongside Carleton (9-3-2, 6-0-1) with 19 points. The Gusties are averaging 3.20 goals and 20.8 shots per match.
Coach Middleton’s club will be in action today when it travels to Minneapolis to take on North Central University in a non-conference bout at 5:00 p.m. The Gusties will cap the week in St. Paul against St. Thomas at 1:00 p.m.