The Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team suffered a hard-fought 1-0 loss to Bethel University on Saturday afternoon in Arden Hills, Minn. After 87 minutes of free and open soccer, Bethel’s Anne Fazio scored the game-winning goal to give the Royals their fourth conference victory of the season. Bethel improves to 7-4-2 overall and 4-1-1 in the MIAC with the win, while Gustavus drops to 5-6-0 overall and 3-4-0 in the MIAC with the loss.
“Today was a battle,” said Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie following the match. “We came out well offensively and defensively in the first half. We found our rhythm 20 minutes into the game and started to pressure Bethel’s defense, winning a couple corners and free kicks in the final third.”
Gustavus had two corner kick opportunities and two shots in what was an evenly played half. The Black and Gold’s best look at the net came in the 16th minute when Leah Brossoit (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) hit the crossbar on a free kick.
The Royals were a different team in the second half, outshooting the Gusties 15-to-0 and gaining three corner kick opportunities within the frame.
“Bethel came out strong and we struggled to find our rhythm,” said coach Burnett-Kurie. “It was in the second half that Jess Richert really shined and proved why she’s one of the top goalkeepers in the conference. She pulled some tricks out of her sleeve and made some incredible saves that kept us in the game.”
Bethel was finally able to beat Jessica Richert (Sr., Freeburg, Ill.) at the 87:22 mark when Anne Fazio buried the game-winning goal on assists from Kelsey Flaherty and Christa Heilgenthal.
Richert would finish with 12 saves in the match, hitting double-figures for the fourth time this season.
Despite the loss, Burnett-Kurie was pleased with her squad’s defensive effort in their ability to pressure the ball and not allow uncontested shots. “We had a few opportunities with counterattacks, but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. Ultimately, Bethel’s offense overpowered us and they were able to put one away after a scrappy corner.”
The Gustavus women’s soccer will be in action next on Oct. 10 when it travels to Menomonie, Wis. to take on UW-Stout at 7:00 p.m.