Murakami’s Two-Goal Performance Leads Men’s Soccer Past Bethel 2-0

Posted on October 15th, 2016 by


ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s soccer team defeated Bethel University 2-0 Saturday, improving to 5-8-1 overall and 4-3-1 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“This was a game that questioned the players’ courage and commitment, with every tackle and every header,” said Head Coach Mike Middleton. “It was a fiercely fought contest on a very difficult surface to play silky smooth football. This was the kind of performance was all about grinding out a result.”

The Gusties received a two-goal performance from Matt Murakami (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.). His first goal came right away in the third minute on an assist from Cody Billins (Fy., Farmington, Minn.). The second goal came in the 73rd minute on an assist from Matt Ouren (So., North Mankato, Minn.).

The first goal was from a lovely ball into the box on a free-kick from Matt Ouren,” Middleton said. “It was a situation we had worked on, and Matt’s delivery was exactly what the doctor ordered. Cody Billins fought to get first to the ball. In the ensuing melee Cody was aware enough to put Matt Murakami in with a little one-yard side-foot pass. Matt provided a calm, well-taken finish.

“The second goal came from a wide position on the left with Matt Ouren picking up the ball, then attacked the goal-line. He was aware enough to dribble in towards goal to exclude the goalkeeper, before providing the cut-ball back for Matt Murakami. Matt Murakami was once again there to complete the move, with a lovely first-touch to control he pass, then swiveling to play the ball with his second touch past their ‘keeper. A nice brace for Matt M. today, and very well-deserved.”

Bethel outshot Gustavus 14-8 but goalkeeper Matt Bateman (So., Savage, Minn.) was on his game recording six saves for his fourth shutout of the season.

“Starting a team with no seniors and only two juniors was a bit of a concern. This game was about the three points, and required a gutsy, courageous performance. But no need to worry; the young lads were up for the fight, showing they can battle, scrap and fight with anyone. Not much chance to showcase their silky football today, which is their forte normally. So, I was very proud of every one of them, they showed real courage,” said Middleton.

Gustavus now has more than a week off and returns to the pitch Oct. 25 at home against Concordia.


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