Gustavus Men’s Soccer is 3-0 after a slew of strong defensive performances led by Junior Goalkeeper Matt Bateman. Bateman’s two shutouts in the team’s first two contests against UW-Superior (1-0) and St. Scholastica (1-0), his sixth and seventh career shutouts, were enough to earn him his second career nod as MIAC Men’s Soccer Athlete-of- the-Week.
Strong defensive and midfield play proved key in the Gusties win over St. Scholastica on Sept. 3 as no Gusties found the net in the 1-0 victory. A superb Gustavus corner kick by Matt Ouren found the body of an unfortunate Scholastica defender who hit the ball into his own goal.
“The midfield dominated with Matt Ouren looking imperious at times – Matt was the one who created the goal with a lovely, swinging cross that put the defender under tremendous pressure,” Head Coach Mike Middleton said.
The Gusties upperclassmen’s veteran presence proved strong in the win.
“[Junior] Arthur Parens lit up the show second half with his trickery, and [Senior] Matt Murakami covered every plastic blade of grass – an immense effort,” Middleton said.
The Gusties’ younger talent also did their part to win on the road against a good Saints team.
“Man of the match though has to be Jarod Petrovic (So., Plainfield, Ill.) – he’s developing into a top top player. This is the first time we have taken a win away from here in my tenure – and, we’ve had some really successful teams in that time – beaten them at home in tight games, but never here. So, that augers well. Well played everyone,” Middleton said.
The Gustie offense came into its own in the win against Martin Luther on Sept. 6, with Parens and Sophomore Cody Billins both found the net in a 2-1 win.
The Gusties host a pair of non-conference opponents from Iowa this weekend, kicking off against Luther College at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, then against Wartburg at 2 p.m. on Sunday.