Men’s Soccer Earns Senior Day Victory In 2-1 Win Over Hamline

Posted on October 31st, 2015 by

Gustavus 2, Hamline 1 (Box) | Photo Gallery

SAINT PETER, Minn. – Playing in its final game of the 2015 season, the Gustavus Adolphus College men’s soccer team concluded its year on a high note, as it earned a 2-1 victory over Hamline University on Saturday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. The win pushes the Gusties’ final record to 9-5-3 overall and 3-4-3 in the MIAC, while the Pipers finish their regular season at 7-8-2 overall and 5-4-2 in the MIAC.

“An enjoyable game for the lads today,” said Coach Mike Middleton. “They played very well throughout and it was certainly a fun game to watch despite the cold. I was quite impressed with Hamline. They proceeded to dominate the game for 15 minutes immediately after we scored our first goal. We changed our shape, and credit to the versatility of our players, Hamline did not really cause us many problems after that except for their goal. But, great credit to them for getting back into the game.

As they did in their last game against Concordia, the Gusties again scored early, this time with Henry Brose (Jr., Hudson, Wis.) finding a well-placed cross from Matt Murakami (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) for a shot that sailed past Piper goalkeeper Dean Isaacson just six minutes in to give the Gusties a quick 1-0 lead.

“Our first goal was an absolute beauty,” said Middleton. “Matt Murakami picked up the ball inside their attacking third, took on several players, determined to make something happen. He skipped past the last defender close to the goal-line, delivering a sumptuous ball to the near post. Henry Brose came across his marker, making a quick, darting run timed to perfection. It was a really accomplished finish.”  

However, the rest of the half would remain scoreless, with both teams trying to find their footing on a field that was still drenched from a late Friday evening rain and a full season of play.

In the second half, Hamline’s hero from its previous game against Bethel, Abbai Habte, was able to put a ball past Gustie ‘keeper Matt Bateman (Fy., Savage, Minn.) at 54:49 to tie the game at 1-1. From that point, Gustavus was able to center several crosses, but was unable to convert until a Piper foul at 78:06 gave the Gusties’ Charlie Adams (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.) a free kick. Adams sent the kick sailing towards the left side of the goal and fellow senior John Fox (Maple Grove, Minn.) was able to get his head on it and put it past Isaacson for his first goal of the season, which proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 victory.

“We moved the ball nicely again in the second half, creating a number of good chances,” said Middleton. “But, we were anxious and not converting possession into goals. Then, John Fox stepped up to the plate with a really nice headed goal. He rose like the proverbial salmon, burying the ball into the top corner of the net. It was very picturesque – and John’s first collegiate goal in his last game.”

Gustavus led the shot count 10-6, including a 6-4 mark on goal. The Gusties also had six corner kicks compared to the Pipers’ five. Bateman earned his fourth win of the season between the posts for the Black and Gold, as he made three saves and allowed just the one goal.

“Nine wins for the season having lost 15 of our first-team squad of 22 … if that’s a rebuilding year, I’ll take it every year,” said Middleton. “Only losing five games all season – most teams would give their eye-teeth for that. We’ve also dominated possession in every game we have played, and have played some really nice stuff. The team is great to watch, having lots of possession, displaying creativity, and no small amount of skill. You have to hold your hands up for all our boys, they’ve been terrific. Our young first-years coming through have been a constant source of delight as well – bring on next year!”

 

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