David Lilly’s Late Goal Propels Men’s Soccer To 1-0 Win Over Dominican In First Round Of NCAA Tournament

Posted on November 15th, 2014 by

David Lilly's game-winner propels Gustavus to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Photo courtesy of Jim Naprstek, Loras Director of Athletic Communications

Dubuque, Iowa – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament thanks to a goal by senior captain David Lilly (Maple Grove, Minn.) in the 79th minute under snowy conditions and in 20-degree temperatures on Saturday afternoon at the Rock Bowl located on the campus of Loras College.  After nearly 80 minutes of scoreless soccer, fellow senior Zach Brown (Eau Claire, Wis.) found Lilly all-alone in front of the Dominican net on a counter-attacking rush.  With the ball on his foot in space, the senior buried the game-winning blast as the clock read 78:31.

“A lovely through ball from Jason Schwab found Zach Brown running down the inside-right channel,” said Middleton about the game-winning play series of plays.  “He controlled the ball sublimely, then took his man on.  He drove into the box holding the ball up just long enough to allow the supporting runs to happen.  Zach then picked out David Lilly at the back post charging in.  It was a highly-skilled piece of play.  David proceeded to smash the ball past the despairing ‘keeper.  It was a really lovely goal with great talent exhibited by Zach, an excellent run and finish from David, and the initial pass from Jason was a delight.  It was a goal worthy of winning a top-class game.”

With the win, Gustavus improves to 16-4-1 overall and secures a date with No. 7 Loras College who defeated Westminster 2-0 in its opening round NCAA matcher earlier in the day.  The Gusties and Duhawks will square off in the region final at 5:00 p.m. at the Rock Bowl.  Live video/stats for Sunday’s match will be produced by Loras College.

After being named the MIAC Player of the Year two days prior, David Lilly steps up with the game-winning goal against Dominican on Saturday in Dubuque.

After being named the MIAC Player of the Year just two days prior, David Lilly adds to his already gleaming resume with the game-winning goal against Dominican on Saturday in Dubuque.

“That was a tough old battle of a game -both teams good in possession and both teams trying to play,” said Middleton.  “It was not only very hard-fought, it was like a chess match.”

“The task now is to try to recover in time for the game tomorrow,” he added. “This was an energy-sapping affair and we have to come back strong for tomorrow.  Loras is a big, tough, strong and direct team that will be up and at us from the get go.  And, we are playing at their home field. Anything but a full and energetic work-rate from the lads will see us up against it.  The bench will have to step up to the plate as well.  It will be all hands to the pumps and a monumental affair, but we can’t wait!”

While adjusting to the field conditions and below-freezing temperatures, the chess match Middleton alluded to went on for the majority of the first half.  Gustavus recorded six shots compared to Dominican’s three in the opening 45 minutes, but neither squad had any opportune scoring chances.

“We had real problems coping with their system in the opening 20 minutes. It was a bit of an unusual one although highly effective,” commented Middleton about Domincan’s strategy early on.  “It certainly allowed them to get plenty of players in the center of midfield.  But, we adapted and really got on top of them for the rest of the half.  I thought Charlie Adams, David Lilly and Eli Bjerk really took control of the game from a possession standpoint, which really shocked them. From being a match where we were struggling, we then saw our lads significantly gain the upper hand.”

Coach Middleton noticed a tactical shift on the part of Dominican in the second half. “They had decided to counteract our possession by trying to hit longer balls and stretch the play – especially on the diagonal,” he said.  “That didn’t bother us as much as their system had done at the start of the game.  After settling in, the lads created a few nice openings.  I have to say, Zach Brown played as well as I have even seen him play – he really led from the front and looked top-class all afternoon.  Patrick broke free down the left after about sixty minutes, driving a lovely whipped ball across the box with Eric Schneider straining every sinew to get on the end of it.  However, Eric’s header flashed wide even though he did well to get to the ball.  It was a really good opening, one that opened up their defense, showed their vulnerability, and it was first real clean-cut chance of the game from either team.  That picked everyone up.”

With momentum and a new-found energy, Gustavus countered and the senior pair of David Lilly and Zach Brown did the rest.  The goal by Lilly was his first of the year and third of the season.

“From then on it was a case of trying to shut up shop, which was easier said than done,” Middleton joked.  “In truth, the defense and ‘keeper had been terrific all-afternoon.  I have to say the Elliot Emerson and Patrick Leach were giants amongst men.  That’s the best I have ever seen Patrick play – he was an absolute rock all afternoon.  In the end, the lads limited them to not having a serious shot on goal all afternoon.  That was really impressive.”

The final scoresheet saw Gustavus with a 9-7 shots advantage.  Of Dominican’s seven shots, two made it on goal where senior Brett Ylonen (Lake, Elmo, Minn.) was up to the challenge.  Ylonen earned the shutout victory and improves to 7-1-1 on the season.  The veteran goalkeeper has posted four consecutive 90-minute shutouts.  He heads into the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a goals against average of 0.46 and a save percentage of .844.

This will be the second year on the verge of the last sixteen,” concluded Middleton.  Loras is a considerable obstacle, but the same pluck, drive, desire and work-rate shown today could see us through. This game could end being the game of the whole round.  Don’t miss it!”

Box Score


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