Offensive Explosion, Men’s Soccer Cruises Past Bethel 7-1 On Senior Day

Posted on October 28th, 2014 by

Thirteen seniors and their families were honored as a part of Senior Day at the Gustie Soccer Field prior to Tuesday's 7-1 win over Bethel. Photo courtesy of AJ Dahm - Sport PiX.

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team’s offense exploded for a season-high seven goals in a 7-1 victory over Bethel University on Tuesday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. The Gusties were on the scoreboard early and often, adding three second half goals to a 4-1 halftime lead en route to their second straight MIAC victory.

“Excellent result for the lads today,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton.  “We scored some excellent goals, and from a coaches perspective, it was nice to have seven different goal-scorers.  Performances were put in all over the field by the players, with some hard-work and determination well to the fore, alongside the uncanny ability to hold the ball at times.  As this was the senior game, it was really nice to come away with the impressive win with everyone getting a game.”

With the win, Gustavus improves to 12-4-1 overall and 6-2-1 in the MIAC and is currenty in a tie for second place in the conference standings with 19 points alongside Carleton who is also 6-2-1 in league play. Bethel ranks sixth in the league with 12 points at 8-10 overall and 4-6 in the MIAC.

Going up against a red-hot Bethel team that had won its previous four MIAC matches, Gustavus wasted no time. Just 5:52 into the match, Patrick Roth (So., Stillwater, Minn.) scored his fourth goal of the season and first since Sept. 12 on an assist from Eli Bjerk (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.).

Patrick Roth celebrates after scoring the game's opening goal. Photo courtesy of AJ Dahm - Sport PiX.

Patrick Roth celebrates after scoring the game’s opening goal. Photo courtesy of AJ Dahm – Sport PiX.

“The first goal was a nice ball from Eli Bjerk to the consummate goal-scorer Patrick Roth.  He’s such a good finisher – a natural goalscorer,” commented Middleton.  “Eli Bjerk had a splendid game, along with a goal himself to cap it off.  He’s as cunning as a fox with two heads at times.”

Less than then minutes later at the 13:52 mark, Bjerk netted one of his own (his second of the year) off a feed from Jason Schwab (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) to put Gustavus up 2-0.

Although Bethel was able to take some momentum back with a goal by Jake Opheim at the 23:28 mark, the elation was short lived because Gustavus got the goal back less than five minutes later. Defender Patrick Leach (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) scored his third goal of the season and second goal in as many matches in signature heading fashion at 27:09 to put Gustavus back up by two (3-1). All three of Leach’s goals this season have come on headers.

Bringing the first half’s scoring to a close was senior Nick Kieser (Plymouth, Minn.) who made the most of Senior Day and his final regular season match at the Gustie Soccer Field with his first collegiate goal. Kieser’s tally came from Patrick Roth at 32:21 and gave the Gusties a 4-1 halftime advantage.

“A first collegiate goal from Nick Keiser who burst through from left-back back to hammer the ball in the back of the net,” Middleton said about his senior defender’s goal.  “And, another nice headed goal from Patrick Leach – he’s excellent in the air, jumps like a gazelle and is a threat in both boxes.  He also snaps into tackles – you would not want to play against him!”

After scoring five goals through the opening four matches of the season, it took Jason Schwab 13 matches to find the back of the net again. With his sixth goal of the year coming at the 57:31 mark from Zach Brown (Sr., Eau Claire, Wis.), Schwab put Gustavus up 5-1 and recorded his fourth multi-point performance of the season.

“Another nice goal from Jason Schwab who is on top form at the moment,” Middleton added about Schwab’s effort.  “That goal was a perfectly scripted training ground free-kick. It was set up by Zach Brown and finished clinically by Jason.  It could not have been drawn out better.”

Patrick Leach goes up and over Bethel's Matthew Pisarski  to score his third header goal of the season.

Patrick Leach goes up and over Bethel’s Matthew Pisarski to score his third header goal of the season. Photo courtesy of AJ Dahm – Sport PiX.

“Zach Brown ran them ragged in attack,” Middleton said about Brown’s movement this afternoon.  “He did not score, but was a constant burr under the saddle for their defense.  When Zach was not doing it, Konnor Tranoris was.  He  caused their defense all types of headaches today. Konnor had one excellent effort in particular that was saved at full length by their ‘ keeper.”

Henry Brose (So., Richmond, Wis.) and Aden Letcher (Jr., Brandon, S.D.) brought the score to a final with goals at 74:27 and 88:15, respectively. Sam Leske (Jr., Hampton, Minn.) assisted on what was Brose’s first goal of the season, while Anthony Slack (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.) had the dime on Letcher’s.

“We had some goals today that were first class,” state Middleton.  “Perhaps the pick of them was Henry Brose’s solo effort.  He beat one player, chipped the ball cheekily around another, and then whistled the ball past the bemused ‘keeper.  He could only watch as the ball screamed past him into the back of the net. An unbelievable goal – Cristiano Ronaldo would have been jealous of that one!”

Senior goalkeeper Brett Ylonen (Lake Elmo, Minn.) got the start for the second straight match and picked up the win after allowing one goal and making two saves in 81:36 of work. Braden Schmid (Sr., West Fargo, N.D.) relieved Ylonen and made one save the final 8:24. Bethel goalkeeper Jakob Bartels suffered the complete-game loss after making two saves.

Gustavus outshot the Royals 14-7 and held a 7-2 corner kick advantage.

“So, all in all, it was a good day for the lads,” concluded Middleton.  “It was cold outside but the crowd was thoroughly warmed by a hugely entertaining game.  If you missed it you missed a treat!”

The Gustavus men’s soccer team will conclude the 2014 regular season with an MIAC contest against Hamline University on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in St. Paul.

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