Men’s Soccer Shuts Out St. Scholastica 3-0 Posted on September 13th, 2014 by

Patrick Roth shields the ball from Trevor Clark in Gustauvs's 3-0 win over St. Scholastica on Friday. Roth scored in the 86th minute to bring the score to a final.

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team earned the signature win of its 2014 season, thus far, by defeating the College of St. Scholastica 3-0 on Friday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. Riding a three-match win-streak into the contest and seeking redemption for last season’s overtime loss in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, St. Scholastica found nothing of the sort against a Gustavus club that turned in its fourth shutout of the season. Gustavus wins its second straight match and is now 5-2-0 overall, while St. Scholastica drops to 3-2-0.

“A very solid performance today from the team,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “This was a tough game against a St. Scholastica team that has been playing really well so far this season.”

Heading into the match, Middleton knew his squad had to be organized and disciplined. “The lads showed a great deal of desire to put in a performance like that,” Middleton said. “The work-rate was terrific and the drive to perform was great to see.  At times we knocked the ball around well, which is what we are known for.  Today, we added tenacity, grit and steel to our game.  I was very pleased.”

The Gusties were the first to draw blood Zach Brown (Sr., Eau Claire, Wis.) scored an unassisted goal at the 21:53 mark. With the goal – his team-leading fifth of the season – Brown extends his point-scoring streak to five matches over which he has posted 13 points on five goals and three assists.

With a 1-0 lead and a 12-to-2 shots advantage heading into the second half, Gustavus refused to succumb to the same fate of its matches against Wartburg and Puget Sound where an early lead wasn’t enough. In the 50th minute, Ryan Tollefsrud (Sr., Spearfish, S.D.) dropped a pass off for David Lilly (Sr., Maple Grove, Minn.) at the top of the box and the senior captain rocket a shot past the St. Scholastica keeper and inside the right post.

With today's game-winning goal, Zach Brown extends his scoring streak to five matches.

With today’s game-winning goal, Zach Brown extends his scoring streak to five matches.

“Tolly played it off to me and the ball went off my foot perfectly,” said Lilly about the goal. “The ball curved around the defender and inside the netting. I don’t think the goalkeeper saw it right away but it felt good to go up two goals at that point.”

Despite seeing eight shots in the second half, Gustavus’s back line and goalkeeping held firm. Patrick Roth (So., Stillwater, Minn.) put the finishing touches on the match with a goal from Konnor Tranoris (Jr., West Des Moines, Iowa) at the 85:47 mark.

“Great shot from David Lilly for the second goal,and I loved the third goal from Patrick Roth,” commented Middleton. “A sumptuous ball from Konnor Tranoris to set up the strike, and a great run from Patrick with a delightful finish.  However, the first goal set up the game, and it had to be Zach Brown.  He’s putting in All-American performances once again, and I am for and with him.  His movement is top class and his work-rate makes him the player he is.”

To go along with the play of his strikers, Middleton was especially happy with the play of his midfield. “What’s not to like when they [forwards] are playing in front of one of the most creative midfields in the nation? David Lilly, Charlie Adams, Eric Schneider and Eli Bjerk are so clever on the ball.”

“Also, another step forward for Matt Murakami in midfield today. He looks equally adept on the ball as the other lads. Mind you, he was well looked after by Ryan Ragan who certainly filled the role of the cajoler and enforcer in the midfield.”

Gustavus once again went with its senior goalkeeping duo of Braden Schmid (West Fargo, N.D.) and Brett Ylonen (Lake Elmo, Minn.). Schmid played the opening half and made two saves, while Ylonen played the remaining 45 minutes and made one save. It is the fourth time this season that Schmid and Ylonen have worked together to earn a split shutout.

Gustavus finished with an 18-10 shots advantage and a 2-1 edge in corner kicks.

“We created several more gilt-edged chances in addition to the three we scored,” Middleton concluded.  “We maintained our composure in front one goal and we moved the ball well during periods of the game.  It was nice to see us be able to handle a big, strong athletic team.  We can keep the ball and play with anyone in the nation in terms of style, possession and creatively.  With that said, the question was whether or not we could grind and battle when we needed to. We answered that today.  The lads have done themselves proud.  And, I was impressed with Scholastica. They have some nice players and will certainly have a terrific season.”

The third leg of Gustavus’s current four-match homestand will be contested on Sunday, Sept. 14. The Gusties welcome UW-Oshkosh for their final non-conference test before heading into MIAC play. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.

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