2018 Men’s Soccer Season Preview

Posted on August 30th, 2018 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s soccer team begins its 2018 campaign Friday under a new regime as Tudor Flintham has assumed his role as head coach. The expectation within the Golden Gustie program remains the same and that’s to compete for a MIAC championship – something this program has done a league-leading 14 times.

“One thing that made Gustavus so appealing is that there is an expectation of being a champion,” Flintham said. “Our guys are very aware of the legacy and that’s positive pressure for us. Our expectation is always to be in and around that championship game whilst still being mindful of the process to get there.”

Arthur Parens

The Gusties return eight starters from last season’s team that finished second in the MIAC with a 7-3 conference record and 13-6 mark overall. Leading that group is Arthur Parens (Sr., Wayzata, Minn.), who earned All-North Region Second Team and All-Conference honors after pacing the 2017 Gusties with 12 goals and 27 points. Parens is looking to rebound from a disappointing end to last season after being sidelined the last two games due to injury.

Matt Gibbons (So., Minneapolis, Minn.) also returns after leading the team with seven assists and was second in point-scoring at 13. Matt Bateman (Sr., Savage, Minn.) returns in goal after starting all 19 games last season with a 0.97 goals against average and a .800 save percentage. Other top returners include Luke Laurich (Jr., Batavia, Ill.), Cody Billins (Jr., Farmington, Minn.), Daniel Barnes (Sr., Lund, Sweden), Jarod Petrovic (Jr., Plainfield, Ill.), and Davis Petros (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn.).

“I think we’ve been very much about collaboration and it’s more of a group project,” Flintham said in regard to building team culture. “I’ve always believed that you get more out of people when they feel ownership. For us it’s about fostering an environment where guys feel trusted and respected. They can play, experiment and not be constrained in the way that they play, and the guys are enjoying it.”

Gustavus opens its season at home Friday against Presentation. The two squads played last year in Aberdeen, S.D. with the Gusties prevailing 4-0 behind a hat-trick performance by Parens. The Gusties are looking for a similar outcome in tomorrow’s contest and Flintham is gearing the team’s style of play to be aggressive.

“I would say I’m a possession coach that wants to create as many goal-scoring opportunities as we possibly can,” he said. “There is going to be a possessive emphasis but we’re also going to be very high tempo, hard-nosed, and in your face. Generally, teams are not going to enjoy playing against us so that’s the aim.”

The 2018 roster features 33 student-athletes, nine of which are first-years. The Gusties, who are picked third in the MIAC Preseason Coaches Poll, play four non-conference matches before opening MIAC play Sept. 12 at home against Carleton.

“The guys are excited and you don’t know what to expect with a new coach, but I’ve been in and around the college ranks for 10 years and worked at a lot of different types of places and different levels,” Flintham said. “I’m coming in having learned from a lot of very good mentors and the guys are buying into what we’re doing right now. That’s first and foremost the biggest thing, can you be collaborative and can you get a group of guys to buy into what you’re doing and we’re heading in an exciting direction.”



2017 STATS


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