Eric Schneider’s Late Equalizer Allows Men’s Soccer 1-1 Tie Against St. Olaf

Posted on October 4th, 2014 by

Eric Schneider's goal in the 89th minute salved a 1-1 tie and earned Gustavus a point against MIAC-leader St. Olaf on Saturday.

Eric Schneider’s goal in the 89th minute salved a 1-1 tie and earned Gustavus a point against MIAC-leader St. Olaf on Saturday.

Northfield, Minn. – There were two goals scored nearly 80 minutes apart in Saturday’s men’s soccer match between Gustavus Adolphus and St. Olaf held at Rolf Melby Field. The first came at the 8:39 mark and the second came at 88:03. Phumelela Sukati scored the former to put the Oles up 1-0, and Eric Schneider (Sr., St. Anthony, Minn.) rescued the Gusties with the latter to knot the match at 1-1. No goals were scored in between and no goals were scored after as the two MIAC title contenders walked off the pitch with one point following the tie.

“I was pleased with the lads’ performance today,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “It was a highly-competitive game stoked by an early St. Olaf goal that resulted because of an unfortunate bounce.  Despite being up against it early, boy did we play well.  The field surface was a challenge – the kind of pitch only good for planting potatoes – so to play that type of controlled possession soccer on it was simply outstanding.”

Gustavus moves to 9-3-1 overall and 3-1-1 in the MIAC, while St. Olaf goes to 7-2-1 overall and 4-0-1 in the MIAC. The Oles remain atop the league standings with 13 points, while the Gusties sit alone in second with 10 points.

Despite the early deficit, coach Middleton was pleased with his club’s ability to control possession and dictate tempo. The Gusties generated 12 shots following Sukati’s goal, but could not find a way to beat goalkeeper Ben Braman.

“We kept plugging away in the hope that something would eventually break lose,” Middleton said.  “With only a couple of minutes to play in regular time you are thinking that it’s one of those days.  Then, a lovely controlled ball into the box from David Lilly to Zach Brown.  Zach turned his man rifling a shot at the far post.  The ‘keeper made a desperate save with the ball being parried into the six yard box.  A majestically controlled touch from Ryan Schultz into the path of the path of Eric Schneider who finished with aplomb. Then, pandemonium on the bench as the ball hit the back of the net!”

Eric Schneider’s goal was his second of the season and first since the second match of the year against Wartburg on Aug. 30.

“The goal was great stuff,” Middleton added. “Eric Schneider has a unique ability to ghost into some really excellent positions.  He’s a top-notch player.”

The Gusties had several good looks at what would have been game-winner, yet neither team could find the back of the net through both ten-minute overtime sessions. Gustavus recorded two shots on goal compared to St. Olaf’s one in overtime.

“We needed a bit of luck just to finish it off,” said Middleton about overtime. “Great credit to St. Olaf who battled back and had a good spell in the second period of overtime. Then, with a minute to go, a beautiful ball from man-of-the-match Charlie Adams shaped into the near post for a diving Ryan Tollefsrud right in front of an open net.  But, it wasn’t to be as his header sailed wide.”

Gustavus finished with a 20-to-19 edge in shots and an 11-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Both goalkeepers went the distance as Braden Schmid (Sr., West Fargo, N.D.) allowed one goal and made eight saves, and Braman allowed one goal and totaled seven saves.

Middleton was thrilled with the team’s response to the early goal, and its effort and perseverance for the duration of the match. “I can’t imagine many teams have played that type of football on that pitch in the last few years.  Some of the creativity and possession was a joy to behold.  Although a win would have been nice, we always talk about performance.  Today was a good one. In truth, I think the St. Olaf boys enjoyed the match as much – they played some good stuff. No shenanigans here, just two good teams enjoying the game. It was a fun day.”

The Gustavus men’s soccer team will now have a week to prepare for a home match against the University of St. Thomas set for 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Gustie Soccer Field.

Box Score


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