Patrick Leach’s Scoring Tear Continues, Leads Men’s Soccer To 4-0 Win Over Hamline

Posted on November 2nd, 2014 by

Junior defender Patrick Leach scored his fourth and fifth header goals of the season against Hamline on Saturday.

Junior defender Patrick Leach scored his fourth and fifth header goals of the season against Hamline on Saturday.

St. Paul – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team secured the No. 2 seed in the 2014 MIAC Playoffs with a 4-0 victory over Hamline University in its regular season finale on Saturday at Paterson Field. Junior defender Patrick Leach (Sioux Falls, S.D.) continued his goal-scoring tear and extended his goal-streak to three matches with a pair of header goals in the first half. Leach’s goals were the first of a four-goal first half for Gustavus, as Matt Murakami (Fr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Konnor Tranoris (Jr., Des Moines, Iowa) added goals to allow the Gusties the four-goal win.

With the win, Gustavus finishes the regular season 13-4-1 overall and 7-2-1 in the MIAC. Hamline concludes its season 6-10-2 overall and 2-7-1 in the MIAC.

“Impressive performance from the lads today” said Head Coach Mike Middleton after the contest.  “We created a hatful of chances before scoring the first, and for a time I was thinking that this was going to be one of those days!  But, to the team’s great credit, they kept hammering hard at the door and eventually got the first goal.”

Following nearly 25 minutes of scoreless soccer, Patrick Leach was able to break the ice with a goal from David Lilly (Sr., Maple Grove, Minn.) at the 24:48 mark.

“I have to say, their ‘keeper had a blinder.  He was terrific, pulling off some great reflex saves,” complimented Middleton. “Poor old Zach Brown could have had a hat-trick in the first twenty minutes, except for the ‘keeper’s heroics. Balls were flying across their box, boots flying in and the such like – it was pell mell, chaos, and bedlam all rolled into one in there.”

Gustavus broke the match open in the final seven minutes of the first half. At the 38:17 mark, Leach tallied his second header goal of the afternoon off another assist from David Lilly to put the Gusties on top 2-0.

Thanks to their performances on Saturday, both Patrick Leach and David Lilly extended their point-scoring streaks to three matches. Leach has four goals, while Lilly has four assists in the club’s last three outings. Leach has scored a total five goals this season – all of which have come off headers.

With a pair of assists against the Pipers, David Lilly extended his point-scoring streak to three matches.

With a pair of assists against the Pipers, David Lilly extended his point-scoring streak to three matches.

“An excellent opening goal saw Patrick Leach rise so far above everyone on the rest of the field, including their ‘keeper, to head the ball home you’d have thought he was on stilts,” Middleton said about his junior defender’s eventual game-winner. “Then, he headed another cross minutes later onto the crossbar, and down over the line with such power that it almost pushed the goal itself out of position.  The ball rebounded over the line with a defender clearing it after it was in the back of the net.  Everyone’s head turned to look at the linesman, except for Patrick who was already running down the field in celebration.  Lucky for us, the linesman was waving frantically to let the ref know that the ball crossed the line. No protest from their lads – it was well in.”

“I have to say also that David Lilly may not only be the most creative midfield player in the region, but he also marshals the team defensively wonderfully well. He is constantly breaking up the play when the opposition has the ball and generally picking up some excellent defensive positions.  So much work that is undervalued – he has to be in line for post-season honors. David really is the complete all-around midfield player,” said Middleton about his veteran captain.

After the Leach and Lilly show, Matt Murakami and Konnor Tranoris got into the scoring mix. Murakami scored unassisted at 40:23 to put Gustavus up 3-0, and Tranoris pushed the score to a final at 4-0 with a goal from Zach Brown (Sr., Eau Claire, Wis.) at 42:04.

“The third goal came out of the pressure and the movement of our forwards,” described Middleton. “A shot fizzed across the box, far post and low, which their despairing ‘keeper could only parry. Matt Murakami ghosted in at the far post to hammer the ball past the prostrate gloveman and into the corner of the net.  That’s his second goal in four games, both taken extremely well, and after hard-driving runs into the box.  He is always looking to make bursts beyond the strikers and is proving an excellent finisher in the Frank Lampard mould.”

“The fourth goal was the best of the lot,” added Middleton.  “A nice ball to the back post from Zach Brown was volleyed home beautifully by Konnor Tranoris from ten yards out. The ball was absolutely hammered into the back of the net.  It was great technique and a lovely sweeping move finished in style.  Eat your heart out Van Basten!”

Brett Ylonen posted his second 90-minute shutout of the season in a one-save effort against Hamline

Brett Ylonen posted his second 90-minute shutout of the season in a one-save effort against Hamline

Gustavus recorded four shots in the second half, all of which were saved by Piper goalkeeper Derrick Mora who finished with a total of 12 saves.

Brett Ylonen (Sr., Lake Elmo, Minn.) picked up the 90-minute shutout after making one save. The shutout was Ylonen’s second in three matches. He will enter the MIAC Playoffs with a record of 4-1-0 and a 0.64 goals against average and .773 save percentage.

“It was nice for the Brett Ylonen get the clean sheet with a relatively untroubled game,” Middleton said about his senior netminder.  “The central defenders especially deserve credit as well as the rest of the defense.  But it should not be forgotten that the first line of defense is the strikers. The pressure and work-rate of Zach Brown and Eli Bjerk allowed the defense to push up and condense the play.  Without that first line and the constant drive to get back into shape, life would have been much harder.”

The Gustavus men’s soccer team will await the result of the quarterfinal round of MIAC Playoffs to be played on Tuesday, No. 4. The Gusties will host the winner between No. 6 seeded St. Thomas and No. 3 seeded Carleton on Wednesday, No. 5 at 2:00 p.m. on the Gustie Soccer Field.

“Charlie Adams isn’t too shabby either – not a bad way to spend an afternoon watching those he and Lilly work the midfield, a rampaging Zach Brown, and the aerial prowess of spring-heeled Patrick Leach,” concluded Middleton. “A must win game getting won, and an excellent exciting performance to match. It doesn’t get much better.  Regular season put to bed and now for the playoffs.”

Box Score

 

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