St. Peter, Minn. – When the Gustavus men’s soccer team needed a goal during the month of October, the likely source was junior forward Zach Brown (Eau Claire, Wis.). Brown was the leading scorer on a Gustavus team that went unbeaten over the month on its way to a second-consecutive MIAC Championship. For his efforts, Zach Brown has been named the Gustavus Male Student-Athlete of the Month for October.
“Zach Brown had a wonderful October and has had a great season,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “An injury held him back somewhat in September, but he was still one of the most influential strikers that month. Being fully fit in October, he absolutely terrorized teams last month. He has scored some wonderful goals, but that is only one aspect of his game. His movement is terrific and he is constantly shifting defenders and asking questions of them. He pulls defenses apart both when he has the ball and when he is making runs without it.”
After scoring nine points off of four goals and one assist through Gustavus’s first eight games of the season, Brown turned up the scoring when October came around. The striker scored six goals and assisted on three others for a total of 15 points inside the month. During the heart of the team’s conference schedule that featured nothing but matches against league teams, Gustavus went 6-0-0 after averaging 2.33 goals per game.
“This year in particular he has added the extra dimension of defensive intelligence to his game,” commented Middleton about his top striker. “He will drop into the right spaces, he’s constantly working hard to class players down, and never gives defenders a rest. His work-rate is an undervalued commodity of his game, and his drive and desire is insatiable.”
Brown posted a two-goal performance twice in the month – the first against Macalester on Oct. 19 and the second against Bethel on Oct. 29. He scored the game-winning goal against Saint Mary’s (3-1), St. Olaf (2-1), Macalester (2-0), and Bethel (4-1) for a total of four in October alone. Gustavus’s win over Bethel to cap the month secured the 2013 MIAC Championship outright for the Gusties and helped them to improve to 9-0-0 in league play.
It was also a history-making month for Zach because with his two-goal performance against Bethel, the Eau Claire, Wis. native moved into sole possession of fifth place on Gustavus’s all-time leading scorers list. With 83 career points (36G, 11A), he moved ahead of Scott Stoneking `96 and Bobby Kroog `06 who both registered 80 points over their careers. He is the first Gustie to score 10 or more goals in each of his three years at Gustavus, becoming the first to post double-figure goals in three consecutive seasons since Larry Shelhamer `76 did so from 1973 to 1975.
“Zach is a great lad, a wonderful teammate, and the ultimate defender’s nightmare. They must be waking up in a cold sweat most nights before facing him – he’s a monster out there!” concluded Middleton.
Brown and the rest of the Gustavus men’s soccer team heads into the 2013 MIAC Playoffs with an overall record of 13-2-1 after winning the league title with a perfect 10-0-0 record. The Gusties will take on Saint John’s in the opening round of the playoffs on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 2:00 p.m. on the Gustie Soccer Field.