St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s soccer team used a first half offensive explosion to propel itself past Martin Luther College 7-1 on Wednesday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. The Gusties picked up goals from six different players, as senior midfielder Grant Steine (Chaska, Minn.) led the way with a pair – his second and third of the season. Gustavus improves to 2-1-0 with the victory, while Martin Luther is now 0-2-0.
“Very happy today – we played our system very well, controlled the game, and moved the ball beautifully at times,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “We were tight defensively and pressed the ball very well. The lads did all that we asked of them and that is very pleasing to see.”
The Gusties got on the scoreboard twice within the first ten minutes of play. Grant Steine scored his first goal of the match to put Gustavus up 1-0 in the sixth minute and Zach Brown (So., Eau Claire, Wis.) extended the lead to 2-0 less than a minute later.
Senior Jackson Zoellner (Sioux Falls, S.D.) made the score 3-0 at 11:06 before Steine buried his second goal at 21:47 to bring the lead to 4-0. The black and gold would score twice more in the final five minutes of the opening frame. The first came from Gabe Steinborn (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) in the 42nd minute, while Bryan Bjork (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.) capped off the inside the final minute.
Gustavus outshot the Knights 20-1 in the first half and would eventually hold a 33-5 shots advantage in the match.
Martin Luther got on the scoreboard (6-1) at the 52:10 mark on a goal by Colton Berger, and Nate Kurtzweg (So., Champlin, Minn.) brought the game to a final at 7-1 with a goal at 85:20.
Brett Ylonen (So., Lake Elmo, Minn.), Thomas Schleusener (So., Rapid City, S.D.), Braden Schmid (So., West Fargo, N.D.), and Alvaro Pinto (So., Edina, Minn.) all saw time in net this afternoon. Schleusener picked up the victory after serving the majority of the minutes.
Middleton added, “Lots of the squad had a chance to play after the initial period, gaining valuable playing time. Once again we saw some excellent play from freshman Charlie Adams, Jason Schwab, Sam Leske, and Konnor Tranoris. Later in the game, Mike Haight and Patrick Leach also played very well.”
The Gustavus men’s soccer team will be on the pitch this weekend for its first road game when it travels to Chicago to face North Park University at 7:30 p.m.