Women’s Soccer Nearly Completes Comeback, Drops Heartbreaker 2-1 To Wheaton At NCAA Tourney

Posted on November 13th, 2015 by


WHITEWATER, Wis. – It was a battle all the way to the final seconds as the Gustavus women’s soccer team nearly completed the comeback on Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, but Wheaton was able to make a number of late-game saves and escaped with a 2-1 win over the Gusties. With the loss, the Gusties finish their remarkable turnaround season with a 13-7-1 overall record.

“We are a young team and it was the first time in the national tournament, but after the first 45 minutes we realized that we were supposed to be here,” Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie said. “We showed that and took it to them and brought our game to that next level. We found our rhythm and put Wheaton on its heels and it was fantastic to see.”

Wheaton showed its veteran experience on the national stage as it put the pressure on early and scored the first goal of the game on a penalty kick 8:14 into the match. Nine minutes later, the Thunder took advantage of a turnover near midfield and got a breakaway goal to take a comfortable 2-0 advantage. The Gusties had a few scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes but logged just four shots. Gustavus nearly netted its first goal of the game with just 20 seconds remaining in the half, but was called offsides.

After halftime, the Gusties came out rejuvenated and put the pressure on the Thunder. The first two shots of the second half were blocked, but at the 66:49 mark Emily Skogseth (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.) gave the Gusties their first goal of the game, which also gave them a shot of adrenaline. The goal came after a throw-in near the corner, centered by Brittany Chase (Sr., Victoria, Minn.) with a shot by Chase Miller (Fy., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) where Skogseth took the rebound and fired it into the back of the net past the diving keeper.

From that point on it was all Gustavus as it continued to put Wheaton on its heels. Skogseth gave the Gusties another great scoring opportunity in the 70th minute, but the Wheaton keep came up with a diving save. Maddison Ackiss (Jr., Fairbanks, Alaska) kept the pressure going with a shot-on-goal in the 79th minute, but was again blocked. With just three minutes left in the game, Wheaton keeper Mary Daghfal came up with quite possibly the biggest save of her career as she made a diving stop against a shot by Ackiss directly in front of the goal. Miller gave the Gusties one more look with a shot on goal with just three seconds left in the game, but once again Wheaton came up with a big save to secure the victory.

Gustavus finished the second half with 10 shots compared to nine by the Thunder. Throughout the full 90 minutes, the two teams each tallied 14 shots. Wheaton held a large margin in corner kicks, 7-1, and committed more fouls, 15-10.

MIAC Rookie-of-the-Year goalkeeper Ashley Becker (Fy., Farmington, Minn.) made three saves, while her counterpart, Daghfal, made eight stops.

“The players put their minds to it and they wanted to make this season special,” Burnett-Kurie said. “Everything they did with all the hours of practice and all the hours of watching film and studying, this was the culmination of all of that, and it was great to see. I think by simply getting over that hump and knowing that we belong here is huge for this team.”


One Comment

  1. Kyhl Thomson says:

    Congratulations to LBK and all of the Golden Gustie Women’s Soccer team on a special season. Looking forward to the years to come.
    Thank you Brittany Chase for being an excellent soccer star and an even better Market Place worker. It was a privilege to watch you compete and even better getting to work with you and get to know you as a person. #gustiepride #gustiesoccer