Men’s Soccer Advances to MIAC Championship, Blanks Saint John’s 1-0 Posted on November 2nd, 2022 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. – Clarence Weah’s (So., Minnetonka) goal in the 71st minute proved to be enough as the Gustavus men’s soccer team beat Saint John’s 1-0 on a windy Wednesday afternoon in the MIAC semifinals. The top-seeded Gusties (14-0-4) will host second seed St. Olaf (12-5-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday for the conference championship and an automatic berth to the national tournament.

With sustained winds of 25 miles per hour and gusts up to 40 miles per hour, neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half with the Gusties outshooting the Johnnies 10-3. Saint John’s had a close opportunity bounce off the post but that proved to be its best chance in the game.

The Gusties continued to apply pressure early in the second half and it paid off at the 71:24 mark. From 40 yards out, Mason Gilliand (Fy., Minneapolis) passed the ball up to Weah at the 18, who moved through two defenders to the six and chipped a left-footed shot past the keeper’s right side for his second goal of the season. The Gusties were able to fend off a late surge from the Johnnies, who outshot the home team 8-5 in the final 45 minutes.

Wesley Sanders (Sr., Urbandale, Iowa) earned his 11th shutout of the season, which is tied for the most in NCAA Division III. Sanders made four saves in the match.

“Tough battle in difficult conditions,” Head Coach Tudor Flintham said. “Probably both teams were better when they went into the wind. They were better for a half and then I feel like we probably had the better of it in the second. The Johnnies are a really tough playoff team and they are used to being in these games. I think they have been in the semis 11 of their last 12 appearances. So to get over the line with another really strong defensive performance was satisfying. Another full team effort where the boys sacrificed for each other.

“We’ll need to be more clinical on Saturday if we want the same result but we’ll take the win and look forward to another championship game against a very good St. Olaf side.”

Gustavus is making its eighth appearance in the MIAC playoff championship and is 7-0 in said match. The Gusties last won the playoff title in 2019 with a 3-1 decision over St. Thomas. St. Olaf is making its fifth appearance, and second consecutive, in the title match and is 2-2. The Oles lost to Carleton last season. Saturday’s championship match is the second between Gustavus and St. Olaf. The Gusties defeated the Oles 2-0 in 2007.


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