The Gustavus Men’s soccer team defeated Macalester on Saturday Oct. 27, earning the first Gustavus conference title since 2007 with a score of 1-0.
The team finished off the 2012 regular season with an overall record of 14-2-1, and 8-1-1 in the MIAC.
Senior captain Jackson Zoellner sent the ball to the box from thirty yards out, causing the ball to bounce from Macalester’s keeper’s hands, where Junior Zach Schmith made the game-winning goal.
The defensive efforts of the Gusties were impressive following the lead of Senior captain Lucas Thompson. Sophomore and Goalkeeper Brett Ylonen improved to 12-2-1 on the year, with a 0.51 goal against average and a .875 save percentage.
The Gustavus men’s soccer team earned the No. 2 seed in the MIAC playoffs, and will be hosting a playoff game on Tuesday Oct. 31.
With a high quality goalkeeper and great defensemen, the team is able to give other teams great competition. The Gustavus midfielders play with all they have and cover tons of ground during the games. The Forwards contribute greatly to the team, and are talented at getting the points they need to be successful. With a great team and coaching staff, the men’s Gustavus soccer program is fully equipped to be one of the most competitive teams around.
“The last two years we have only lost four games, and I think our coach has done a good job setting a standard for our soccer team that will be around for years to come. We believe we have the potential to go far in the tournament this year,” Senior Captain Lucas Thompson
Each member of the team appreciates what the other players have to offer, and have formed a unique bond that seems to give them an unstoppable amount of motivation.
“Coming off of last season, and showing everybody that we can compete against the best of them and that we are still good was really exciting. All the guys really picked it up and were very positive,” Senior captain Jackson Zoellner said.
The captains have done a great job leading the team and keeping the players focused. They have contributed greatly to the team’s success in making the playoffs.
“These guys are some of the greatest soccer teammates and role models that I have had the honor playing with. With these guys leading us, it only makes everyone play harder so that we can keep getting the wins giving us further opportunities to play together again,” Sophomore Zach Brown said.
The seniors have also brought plenty of depth and enjoyment to the team.
“It has been great to play with this senior class for four years and each senior brings something different. Jackson brings the noise, Lucas is the quiet leader, Odean is a machine, Gabe gets along with everybody, and Steine is the wild card,” Senior Bryan Bjork said.
Coach Michael Middleton admires his senior athletes and is very proud of the team for their success this year.
“We have a terrific group of seniors. We are very lucky with the group that we have got. Lucas Thompson is one of the best players in his position in the country. Jackson Zoellner has played very well all year. He really leads the team and has a very strong personality. Evan Odean is a very dynamic and hardworking guy. Grant Steine is very clever on the ball and has done very well this year. Gabe Steinborn is an absolutely terrific athlete. He covers the field and works very hard. He has really developed as a player. Bryan Bjork has gotten better and better and better. He is great to have on the squad. He has really developed as a player,” Coach Michael Middleton said.
According to Senior captain Gabe Steinborn, the team is looking forward to finishing off their season on a high note.
“Its such a great group of guys. You see them every day during the season. You can tell when they are all getting better. They have all worked so hard and we really want to finish the year right,” Steinborn said.
Regular Season Overview
The men’s soccer team started off their 2012 season against UC-Santa Cruz, and lost 0-1.
The team then won its final match of the Gustie Classic Invitational, defeating the University of Puget Sound in overtime with a score of 3-2. The tying goal (2-2) was made by First-year Charlie Adams. To win the game, Sophomore Zach Brown scored in overtime.
On Sept. 5, 2012, the team played Martin Luther College at the Gustie Soccer Field. Six different players contributed to the winning score of 7-1. Senior Grant Steine had scored the first goal of the game, and Brown followed with the second less than a minute later. Zoeller and Steine both ended up scoring later on. 42 minutes into the game, Senior captain Gabe Steinborn scored, followed by Senior Bryan Bjork whom made the final goal in the last minute of the game.
The Gustavus men’s soccer team had their third win of the season against North Park University with a final score of 1-0 in double overtime. Sophomore David Lilly scored the only goal of the game.
The fifth game of the season took place in Northfield, Minn. St. Olaf scored the first goal, and Gustavus followed with a goal made by Freshman Konnor Tranoris. The game lasted 110 minutes, ending with a tying score of 1-1.
Gustavus won its fifth match in a row against Concordia in Moorhead, Minn. with a score of 1-0. Steine made the game-winning goal off a penalty kick. The game marked the first conference victory for the Gusties.
The team was victorious in their seventh game of the season against Wartburg College. Brown scored the game-winning goal, and the team finished the match with a score of 1-0.
The men’s soccer team went on to play Saint John’s, winning 2-1 at the Gustie Soccer Field. Gustavus moved to first place in the conference with a record of 6-1-1 and 2-0-1 in the MIAC.
On Tues. Sept 25, the team played Saint Mary’s and won 3-0 at the Gustie Soccer field. Brown scored the first two goals, and Freshman Jason Schwab caused a rebound off of the goalkeeper’s hands from 25 yards out, allowing Brown to make a game-winning header. Tranoris scored as well later in the game. Brown became the first Gustavus soccer player in the last 21 years to make two goals in back-to-back matches.
The men’s soccer team then suffered its first MIAC loss against Carleton with a final score of 0-3.
On Friday Oct. 5, Gustavus defeated Bethel at the Gustie Soccer Field. The game was concluded with score of 2-0.
The Gusties went on to defeat Hamline with a final score of 2-0. Brown scored two goals, one assisted by Junior Sean Sendelbach.
The following game was a victory against Augsburg with a score of 1-0. Steinborn scored the game-winning goal.
The team won with an impressive score of 7-0 against Buena Vista University.
The men then defeated St. Thomas 1-0 in double overtime. Brown scored the only goal, giving the Gusties a record of 12-2-1 overall and 7-1-1 in the MIAC.
In the final non-conference match of the season, the team defeated Crown College with a score of 9-2. Brown scored three goals, and Tranoris scored two more points for the team. Zoellner then scored, followed by Bjork. Junior Casey Gilbert and Tranoris then scored. Evan Odean also made his first goal of the season, bringing the score to 9-2.