After 110 minutes in the cold and difficult conditions, the Gustavus Women’s soccer team ended in a 0-0 tie with St. Mary’s on Tuesday night.
Although the Gusties outshot the Cardinals 15-12 and had 12 corner kick chances, and controlled possession for much of the game, they were unable to find the net.
First Year Katie Ashpole led the Gustavus offensive effort with four shots.
On the defensive side, Goalie Ashley Becker made five saves for the Gusties which marks her sixth shutout of the season.
“Becker made a couple good saves. She came out strong on a couple in traffic and handled them very well,” Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie said.
With just four games left, the Gusties are focused on putting together a strong conclusion to the regular season.
“I’m proud of how we traveled to Saint Mary’s for a late game in the rain and put together a strong performance. We are now focused on continuing to build on tonight’s positives and head into this weekend ready for a strong result,” Burnett-Kurie added.
They are coming off of a tough loss last weekend to another MIAC opponent Bethel University.
After a dead even tie in shots on goal in a scoreless first half, Bethel found the back of the net just after the 70-minute mark.
Becker made five saves for the Gusties, but the offense failed to equalize the score despite a number of good chances late in the game.
Prior to the Bethel game on Saturday, the Gusties hosted their last non-conference game of the season against the Blugolds from UW-Eau Claire last Wednesday.
The Gusties had a 1-0 lead going into halftime thanks to a goal from Sophomore Judith Hepburn in the 34th minute of the assist from First Year Lauren Johnson.
“It was great to see us get numbers into the attack. Lauren had great vision all game in order to find the weak side players, and that goal was a lot of the pieces of the puzzle coming together, and committing to it,” Burnett-Kurie said.
The Gusties controlled the ball from much of the first half, and outshot the Blugolds 8-1.
“We knew Eau Claire was going to be physical and direct, and that’s certainly what they showed us. In the first half, we kept possession really well and created a lot of dangerous opportunities,” Burnett-Kurie added.
The second half was all Gustavus once again, as they added another goal in the 59th minute.
This time, Senior Sophie Leininger netted a free kick over the Eau Claire defenders for her first goal of the season.
Burnett-Kurie noted the improvement in Leininger’s free kicks and said that “she just crushed the ball.”
“The second half was a really physical battle where we had to gut it out. They changed their shape and we made some good adjustments to that, so it was good to put the ball in the back of the net twice,” Coach Burnett-Kurie commented.
With the win, loss, and tie in the last week, the Gusties move to 7-4-2 overall and 3-3-1 in the MIAC.
They currently sit in sixth place in the conference and will finish out the year with four home MIAC games.
On another positive note, the United Soccer Coaches announced last Thursday that Gustavus was among the winners of the Team Academic Award, which recognizes soccer teams who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in the classroom.
This award is given to collegiate teams who have a combined GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
During Burnett-Kurie’s five years at the helm of the Gustavus program, the Gusties have earned this honor every year.
The Gusties are back in action at 3:30 pm on Saturday as they host Saint Benedict.