St. Paul – Gustavus Adolphus rookie forward Maddison Ackiss (Fairbanks, Alaska) scored in the 87th minute to allow the women’s soccer team a 2-1 victory over St. Catherine University on Tuesday afternoon. The Gusties are improved to 6-6-0 overall and 2-5-0 in the MIAC with the win, while St. Catherine sees its two-match winning-streak come to an end and is now 7-6-0 overall and 2-4-0 in the MIAC.
“We played with a lot of heart tonight,” said Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie. “For the entire 90 minutes we played together and gritted out a well-deserved win.”
Entering the contest on a two-match slide, Gustavus was first to strike when Ana Gleason (Sr., North Easton, Mass.) hit the back of the net at the 9:37 mark. The goal, Gleason’s first of her career, was buried off a blocked shot in front of the net.
“Ana Gleason stepped up in the midfield and made a huge impact in the game,” said Burnett-Kurie about her senior’s outing. “She dug her heels in, tackled well, and struck a great goal to give us the lead. Scoring your first goal in a Gustie uniform is always a nice topping too.”
Gustavus carried a 1-0 lead and a 9-7 shots advantage into halftime.
It didn’t take long in the second half for St. Kate’s to come up with the game-tying goal. Late in the 58th minute, Julia Zyla put a pass in the area of Nina Bukowski from 20 yards out. Bukowski headed the pass by the Gustavus goalkeeper and into the net to tie the match at 1-1.
Bukowski’s goal would be the only one allowed by freshman keeper Roisen Granlund (Fy., St. Paul, Minn.). The Gustavus defense clamped down on St. Catherine after the equalizer, allowing just one shot on goal for the remaining minutes of the match. Granlund, who made her first career start, earned the first victory of her collegiate career in a four-save, 90-minute effort.
“Our backline of Estee, Coursey, Karlye and Leah was unbelievable,” Burnett-Kurie said about the defensive effort. “They were composed throughout the afternoon and played a key role in building our attack, which was, let me tell you, a vibrant display.”
The two squads played nearly 30 minutes of scoreless soccer with the match tied 1-1 before Heather Goff (Jr., Eagan, Minn.) found Maddison Ackiss for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.
“Amanda Cartony energized the attack with her creativity and craftiness on the ball along with her ability to play some cheeky thru balls,” commented Burnett-Kurie on the play of Gustavus’s forwards. “And what about Maddison! Her composure and calmness when she buried the go-ahead goal was out of this world.”
Gustavus had the edge in the final shot (15-14) and corner kick (7-4) counts. Wildcat keeper Danielle Mendez suffered the loss after allowing both goals and making five saves.
“We are so proud of our girls and the emotion and belief they played with today,” concluded Burnett-Kurie. “Overall, this was an entire team victory with every single individual believing and fighting to the end. You can’t ask for much more of an exciting game than what the girls showcased tonight.”
The Gustavus women’s soccer team will look to ride the momentum into Saturday, Oct. 19 when they head back to St. Paul to face Macalester College at 1:00 p.m.