Men’s Soccer Blanks Carleton 2-0 in MIAC Opener

Posted on September 12th, 2018 by

Anders Severson makes a diving save. (photo courtesy of David Faulker, SPX Sports)

BOX SCORE

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s soccer team opened conference action Wednesday with a 2-0 shutout victory over Carleton at the Gustie Soccer Field. The Gusties improve to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC, while the Knights fall to 3-1 overall and 0-1 in the league.

“Any conference win is a great conference win in the MIAC, and especially when it’s an opportunity to continue some positive momentum as we head into the conference schedule,” Head Coach Tudor Flintham said. “It’s also huge to again get a win against a team that is set up to be compact, organized defensively, and difficult to break down like Carleton is.  They had only conceded one goal in almost 300 minutes, so to get two and a shutout is something the boys can take massive confidence from.”

Will Richards (Jr., Hudson, Wis.) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at the 17:54 mark on a quick shot directly in front of the net, which was set up by Leon Equinet (Fy., Bonn, Germany) and Cody Billins (Jr., Farmington, Minn.). Gustavus took a 1-0 lead into the break with each team registering four shots.

The Gustavus defense buckled down in the second half, turning away multiple scoring opportunities by the Knights. Carleton missed a penalty kick that clanked off the left post and Anders Severson (Sr., Woodbury, Minn.) made a couple of diving saves.

With 30 seconds remaining in regulation, Richards played a free kick that nearly went out the end line, but Matt Gibbons (So., Minneapolis, Minn.) fired a bullet from right to left, finding Luke Laurich (Jr., Batavia, Ill.) for a wide open goal directly in front of the net.

[Against Carleton], it’s a matter of going out there and exploiting the areas you know will be available, but you have to do it quickly because they adjust well defensively,” Flintham said. “We felt in the first half we had a good amount of success looking for those moments and if we had been just a little faster and sharper with the entrance pass and touch we could have gone into the break with a bigger lead. So while we went into half time okay with where things were, we definitely knew that the job wasn’t finished and that they would have to put more pressure on us in the second half. The guys knew where the quick overloads in possession would be, but the one negative from the game is that we didn’t manage to play the way we wanted until the last five minutes or so when we put the result to bed.”

Carleton edged the Gusties in shots 13-10. Severson finished with 10 saves for his second straight win.

Gustavus is on the road Saturday against Concordia. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m.

“Overall, we’re delighted with the result,” Flintham said. “The clean sheet and two spectacular goals are massive bonuses. But the thing I love about this group is that they are fully aware that they aren’t the finished product. We are headed in an exciting direction and trending in the right way. The guys know the expectations within this program. However, they know that we have a lot to work on still and that the process is far more important than the end goal.”
 

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