St. Peter, Minn. - The Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of Wartburg College in the championship match of the 2014 Gustavus Classic on Saturday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. Despite trailing 1-0 and not recording a single shot through the opening 45 minutes, Wartburg came alive in the second half with a pair of goals. Paris Martins knotted the match at 1-1 in the 58th minute, and Chris Northnick scored the eventual game-winner later in the 63rd. Gustavus’s lone goal came off the foot of Eric Schneider (Sr., St. Anthony, Minn.) in the 16th minute.
“Not the result we wanted, but a truly exciting performance,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “I was pleased with how the lads played. It was a terrific game against a team that made the Sweet-16 last year in the NCAA Tournament. I thought, in truth, we had possibly the better of it although we did not get the result. Thats soccer.”
Gustavus drops to 1-1-0 overall with the loss, while Wartburg opens its 2014 campaign 2-0-0.
Unlike their opening match of the 2014 season, the Gusties struck first when at the 15:38 mark, Jason Schwab (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) played a ball into the box from 35 yards out that was headed into the net by Eric Schnieder. With a goal on Friday against Carroll, Schwab finished the Gustavus Classic with a team-high three points.
Gustavus went into the half with a 1-0 lead and a 4-0 edge in shots.
“We dominated the first half until the goal, then we stood off a little bit,” commented Middleton. “The game got a little rougher, which did not suit us, and we stopped playing for the rest of the half. In truth, after our goal the game became more of a physical contest, and we just learn to deal with that and continue to play our style. We also had periods in the second half where I thought we played really well, moving the ball nicely and trying to play. But Wartburg, to their credit worked their socks off to stop us playing.”
Wartburg’s hard work paid off at the 57:14 mark when Paris Martins scored his second goal of the weekend off a feed from Dan Nadeau.
Five minutes later at 62:39, Chris Nothnick knocked the ball past Gustie goalkeeper Braden Schmid (Sr., West Fargo, N.D.) for what turned out to be the eventual game-winner.
“We played a new shape with a new central defensive combination and a player in central midfield who had not played there before in his career,” Middleton said. “We also went with Braden Schmid in goal, who has understudied our All-American goalkeeper Brett Ylonen for three years. He deserved that chance, and I thought he did really well – great kudos to him. But, no excuses needed for the result – I thought we were excellent. We need to be more clinical in the final third, but that will only come with time.”
Schmid suffered the loss after making a total of two saves. Wartburg’s Donald Ticknor picked up the complete-game win in a five-save effort. Gustavus finished with a 16-7 shots advantage and a 7-2 edge in corner kick opportunities.
Gustavus pressured the Wartburg net with a blistering of shots in the final 10 minutes of the match, yet couldn’t find a way to beat Ticknor.
“I have to give our lads high praise for their performance towards the end of the game – we threw everything at them,” Middleton said about the end of the match. “Patrick Roth had a lovely free-kick that bounced off their ‘ keeper and could have gone any way. David Lilly and Zach Brown combined intelligently for another free-kick that Zach came within a whisker of finishing, and we had two lovely flighted corners that caused mayhem. But in the end, it was not to be. “
The Gustavus men’s soccer team will be back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 3 when it travels to Mankato to face Bethany Lutheran College at 7:00 p.m. Following their match against Bethany, the Gusties will fly out to the Pacific Northwest where they will take on Pacific Lutheran University at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5 and the University of Puget Sound at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7.
“A match against Bethany and two really tough games next weekend away in Tacoma, once again against nationally ranked teams,” stated Middleton about the team’s upcoming schedule. “We have to be prepared to take our lumps when we are playing top, top teams. I have confidence we can bounce back from this disappointment and can give anyone a game. Lets bring on Manchester United – actually, that may be too easy at the moment!.”
2014 Gustavus Classic All-Tournament Team
Paris Martins, So., MF | Coralville, Iowa
Kevin Krueger, Jr., D | Prior Lake, Minn.
Dan Nadeau, Sr., F | White Bear Lake, Minn.
Kyle Sprain, Sr., MF | Waverly, Iowa
Brady Anderson, Sr., MF | Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Gustavus Adolphus College
Elliot Emerson, Sr., D | Minneapolis, Minn.
David Lilly, Sr., MF | Maple Grove, Minn.
Charlie Adams, Jr., MF | Stillwater, Minn.
Ryan Schultz, Sr., D | Delafield, Wis.
Jacob Schmidt, Fr., MF | Minot, N.D.
Matthew Fulks, So., F | Fargo, N.D.
Tyler Coenen, So., F | Little Chute, Wis.
Connor Behnke, Sr., D | Hartford, Wis.
Most Valuable Player
Paris Martins, So., MF | Coralville, Iowa