The Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team battled 14th-ranked St. Olaf to a 1-1 tie on what was a soggy afternoon in Northfield, Minn. After St. Olaf took a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute of the match, Gustavus responded in the 38th minute with a Konnor Tranoris (Des Moines, Iowa) header goal to tie the score at 1-1. Neither squad could find the game-winner in the duration of the 110-minute match, and the two teams came away with one point each in their conference opening matchup. Gustavus is now 3-1-1 overall and 0-0-1 in the MIAC, while St. Olaf is 2-2-1 overall and 0-0-1 in the MIAC.
“A good point today in quite difficult conditions,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton following the match. “The pitch was not in the best shape after a lot of rain, and our style of tiki-taka football was just not possible. We showed great flexibility by switching our style of play to suit.”
St. Olaf controlled the tone through the opening portion of the match, going up 1-0 when Ken Ouren scored his first goal of the season off a David Rosenthal assist at 24:09.
Following the goal, Gustavus settled in and began to tally valuable possession. Tranoris’ game-tying goal would come at the 38:47 mark off an assist from David Lilly (So., Maple Grove, Minn.). The goal was the first of Tranoris’ college career, while Lilly now has a team-high three assists.
“A lovely ball into the box from David Lilly saw Konnor Tranoris stoop to score a diving header,” said Middleton about Gustavus’ game-tying goal. “Very well done by him and he had an exceptional game throughout.”
St. Olaf recorded six shots to Gustavus’ four in the second half, yet both teams had trouble getting the ball to the net. The Gusties held the shot advantage over the two 10-minute overtime sessions, putting up five shots compared to St. Olaf’s three.
Gustavus keeper Brett Ylonen (So., Lake Elmo, Minn.) recorded a complete game in net, allowing the lone St. Olaf goal and making five saves. Ylonen is now 2-1-1 on the year with 0.83 goals against average.
With a young lineup in the first conference match of the season, coach Middleton was especially happy with the experience his young players gained. “David Lilly, Brett Ylonen, Zach Brown, and Eric Schneider continue to lead and play exceptional for us. Today we saw Chris Berglund, Charlie Adams, Jason Schwab, Sam Leske and Konnor Tranoris see a lot of playing time and that is great to see in our first MIAC game.”
St. Olaf finished with the shot advantage at 16-to-14. Lilly, Tranoris, and Sean Sendelbach (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) led the Gusties with three shots each.
“Give the Oles credit, they kept defending stoutly and pressuring us throughout the pitch. They worked hard, it was a hard-fought match both sides,” commented Middleton.
“We’ve had an excellent start to the season again, and this was another stern test. We really enjoy the competitive matches, and the lads love every moment of it!”
The Gustavus men’s soccer team will continue its MIAC schedule on Saturday, Sept. 15 when it travels to Moorhead, Minn. to take on Concordia at 1:00 p.m.