Men’s Soccer Earns 2-0 Victory Over St. Norbert In Home Opener

Posted on September 4th, 2015 by

Senior captain Patrick Leach scored the Gusties' first goal in a 2-0 victory on Friday afternoon.

ST. PETER, Minn. – After kicking off its season with a win on Tuesday at Martin Luther College, the Gustavus Adolphus men’s soccer team continued its winning ways on its home field, defeating St. Norbert College 2-0 on Friday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. The victory pushes the Gusties to 2-0-0 overall, while the Green Knights fall to 1-1-0.

“An excellent game today against a very good and a very hard-working St. Norbert team that is pushing to get into the NCAA’s Top 20, where they were for several weeks last year,” said Coach Mike Middleton. “The quality of the play, especially early on, was high, and then we started to get on top towards the end of the first half. After halftime, the lads had an iron-fist on the proceeding, playing some lovely technical football at times. It was really nice to watch – so much so that the coaches actually said very little during the game – that was a relief! I thought it was a terrific performance.”

After the first 30 minutes that featured equal performances from both squads, Gustavus was able to break the barrier at the 38:10 mark when Patrick Leach (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) found the back of the net off a corner kick from Charlie Adams (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.).

“The first goal came after a scramble in the box, and Patrick was just a little quicker, and a little more in the wide-awake-club than the others to put the ball in the net,” said Middleton. “Patrick was outstanding at central-defender all game and looked very solid with both Alex Blixrud as his defensive-central partner, and also first-year Jack Conroy.”

“Jack came after about 25 minutes and looked like a star in the making – he was a absolutely terrific,” continued Middleton. “He’s big, quick, dynamic, and doesn’t shirk a challenge. They are pretty attributes to have as a central-defender. It was a wonderful performance from him today.”

Following its opening score, Gustavus looked to control possession more consistently, but went to halftime with just the one goal. Following halftime, the Gusties continued to dominate the ball and it paid off at the 74:01 mark when Henry Brose (Jr., Hudson, Wis.) put the home team’s second goal through off an assist from Matt Jacobs (So., Mankato, Minn.).

“Our second goal came from a very dynamic outside-to-in run from Henry,” said Middleton. “Matt played him in superbly, and Henry finished with aplomb. It was a really dynamic move worthy of Arsenal in their pomp – it was a Freddie Ljungberg special!” 

“Henry’s was a run with terrific energy and enterprise – well done to him,” added Middleton. “He’s had a magnificent preseason, providing energy, enthusiasm, and some funny moments. And what a find Matt Jacobs is – he may just be the best transfer in the MIAC – we’ll see. He led the line very well, held the ball up when needed, and was constantly playing players in. As they say, he has lovely feet for a big man and he’s not bad in the air either.”

As it did Tuesday, Gustavus led the shot count, this time a 19-9 advantage and controlled shots on goal by an 8-2 tally.

“We had several players do so many great things today,” said Middleton. “Charlie Adams strode through the midfield for much our the game on a different level to mere mortals. He has so much time in possession – it’s a joy to behold. If you haven’t seen him play yet, change your plans – he’s worth it. A shout-out to Eli Bjerk – he was a yard quicker in his thoughts than everyone on the field, along with Charlie. He’s looking like a Rolls-Royce. He’s top-quality and smooth as silk, and what a preseason he has had – he’s been really, really bright. Matt Murakami may have been man-of-the-match, but he was certainly pushed by several others including Konnor Tranoris. Both of them are so comfortable in possession. In the huff-and-puff arena that this level is, they just have a little bit more than that. With tackles flying in readily today – at times this was a brutal encounter – they both seem to make time for themselves.”  

“Another stellar performance today was from Everett Rinke,” continued Middleton. “He really looked the part, and seems to have grabbed that spot today. He’s a great lad, and after fighting hard to get where he is, I could not be happier for him – he looks like he can become a really solid performer at this level. Mind you, he’s 6’3”, quick, technically good, and has a nice left-foot – what’s not to like about that? Today he showed he has the intelligence to make it at this level – well done to him.”

Goalkeeper Anders Severson earned his second shutout in as many games, bumping his record to 2-0-0 after making two saves and playing the full 90 minutes.  

“Another clean sheet for Anders, which was great to see,” said Middleton. “A bright cameo from Ian Smith as well – he’s tough to knock of the ball. He looks like a good one – holding pace, size, and power.”

The Black and Gold will take the field again on Sunday in its final game of the Gustavus Classic where it will compete against Viterbo University. That game will take place at 3 p.m. on the Gustie Soccer Field.

“We must not get carried away – one swallow does not make a summer,” concluded Middleton. “We all know what happens to hot dogs – they get burnt. We need to keep our feet on the ground and prepare and be ready for the next game. I have to say though, this was a nice performance.”

Gustavus 2, St. Norbert 0 (Box) | Photo Gallery

 

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