Winona, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team used three unanswered goals on Wednesday to come away with a 3-1 victory over Saint Mary’s University under the lights at Ochrymowycz Field. Gustavus improves to 7-2-1 overall and 4-0-0 in the MIAC, while Saint Mary’s drops to 3-6-1 overall and 0-4-0 in the MIAC.
“Outstanding performance tonight, especially in first half,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “We dominated the play, created a number of very good chances, and were rarely troubled defensively. Saint Mary’s to their credit worked hard and fought well. We were a little lackadaisical to concede one from a corner late in the game, but it would be harsh to be critical of the lads after their performance.”
The Gusties wasted no time scoring for at the 4:12 mark Zach Brown (Jr., Eau Claire, Wis.) connected Sean Sendelbach (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) for the opening goal of the match. Sendelbach has now scored four goals on the season with three of them coming in the past two matches. His goal tonight was also the squad’s fastest scored all year.
“Another goal from Sean Sendelbach, which now gives him four in the last four games – he’s on fire!” said Middleton about his senior midfielder. “He was terrific all day, dominating the midfield alongside David Lilly. They are not only showing terrific talent, but are matching it with great work-rate. They are like the energizer bunnies.”
Zach Brown scored a goal of his own 20 minutes later at 24:52 to extend Gustavus’s lead to 2-0. David Lilly (Jr., Maple Grove, Minn.) provided the assist, his team-high fifth of the year, and Brown pushed his season goal total to five.
“The man-of-the-match was Zach Brown,” added Middleton. “He was terrific up front and they simply could not handle him. They tried everything they could to contain him but he was like Superman – everything just bounced off.”
Gustavus held a 14-1 shots advantage going into the second half. Late in the 52nd minute, David Lilly joined in on the scoring with his second goal of the season to put the Black and Gold on top 3-0.
The Cardinals brought the score to a final at 3-1 in the 74th minute when Andrew Jawarski scored on an assist from Midhat Mujic.
Jonathan Balthazar played all game at left back and really looked the part,” added Middleton. “The other freshmen, Patrick Roth and Henry Brose, played excellent minutes in the second half. Both played as well as they have all year, displaying excellent work-rate, movement, and skill. Patrick is really dynamic in and around the penalty box, and Henry is exceptional in tight spaces with great touch and skill on the ball. They are going to be top-class players at this level.”
Gustavus finished with a 20-8 advantage in shots and a 12-5 advantage in corners. The defense allowed two shots on goal throughout the night.
Middleton played his staple goalkeeper, Brett Ylonen (Jr., Lake Elmo, Minn.), for the first 57:35, then finished the game with Braden Schmid (Jr., West Fargo, N.D.) in net for the final 32:25. Ylonen was not challenged during his segment and improved to 7-2-1 with the win. Schmid allowed the lone goal and made one save in his second appearance of the year.
“To take three points away from home is always pleasing,” Middleton concluded. “Tonight’s win sets us up for a big game against St.Olaf, which should be a lot of fun. It’s great to have the match at home, and the lads have given themselves an excellent platform with their results and performances so far.”
The Gusties and Oles will square off at 1:00 p.m. at the Gustie Soccer Field on Saturday, Oct. 5. Both clubs will enter the match unbeaten in league play, as St. Olaf is currently 3-0-0 in the league.