St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s soccer team was on the scoreboard early and often on Wednesday afternoon, cruising to a 7-0 win over non-conference opponent Buena Vista University. Freshman Konnor Tranoris (Des Moines, Iowa) filled up the scoresheet with six points on two goals and two assists, a season-best for the Gusties. Gustavus improves to 11-2-1 overall with the win and is now 5-1-0 in non-conference play. With the loss, Buena Vista drops to 5-9-1 overall.
“A well polished performance from the lads to day. They had to prepare properly, come out with the right approach and impose themselves on the game – all of which they did each very well,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “It was a cold and blistery day and the conditions were not the best, so to move the ball around as well as we did was very pleasing. In fact, I was very happy with the way we played.”
The Gusties extended their lead to 3-0 by halftime after goals within ten minutes of each other late in the first half. Konnor Tranoris scored his first goal of the game off a David Lilly (So., Maple Grove, Minn.) cross-pitch dime at the 34:45 mark, and Chris Berglund (So., Hudson, Wis.) extended the lead to three at the 43:55 mark after heading home an assist from Tranoris from the right side of the box.
After outshooting the Beavers 8-2 in the first half, Gustavus would go on to tally 14 more shots in the second half to finish the match with a 22-3 shots advantage.
Just over three minutes into overtime, Gabe Steinborn (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) buried his second straight goal off a corner kick, giving Gustavus a 4-0 lead.
Jackson Zoellner (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.), who completed the Sioux Falls connection with the assist on Steinborn’s goal, put the Gusties up five after knocking in a cross from Tranoris in the 53rd minute.
The match’s scoring concluded with a pair of unassisted goals – the first by Tranoris at 56:31 and the second by Nate Kurtzweg (So., Plymouth, Minn.) at 75:25.
“We scored some lovely goals. Freshman Konnor Tranoris scored a couple of really nice goals, and senior Jackson Zoellner provided an accomplished performance with a goal and two assists,” Middleton said.
Middleton used every player on his roster this afternoon and was pleased with his team’s movement from top to bottom. “Ryan Ragan was like an anchor in the center of midfield, and for a period everything went through him and Gabe Steinborn. Casey Gilbert made some surging runs from right-back and looked very doing it. Bryan Bjork’s movement and passing was the absolute icing on the cake of an excellent afternoons work.
After making one save in 53:18 minutes of work, Brett Ylonen (So, Lake Elmo, Minn.) picked up the win and improved to 10-2-1 on the year. Ylonen shared the shutout with Braden Schmid (West Fargo, N.D.) who played the remaining 36:42 of the match.
The Gustavus men’s soccer team will be back on the pitch Saturday for what will be the final home match of the regular season. The Gusties will take on St. Thomas at 1:00 p.m. for Senior Day at the Gustie Soccer Field.
“Saturday’s game against St. Thomas should be an exciting one and we are all looking forward to it. We have designated the match as Testicular Cancer Awareness Day and St. Thomas is also fully on board for the event. Testicular cancer is the leading cancer in young men ages 15-35. As such, it has particular relevance at this age and I am very proud indeed of the lads for wanting to support such a cause.”