As we head to a close of the regular season, the BR-71 Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team took a big jump in the rankings last week, moving up 175 spots to the 71st spot.
With a pair of shutouts over BR-265 Bethel 3-0, and BR-253 UW-Stout 1-0, the Gusties improved to 10-4-1 overall, and 8-1 in the MIAC.
To notch their fourth straight win, the Gusties posted a three-goal shutout over Bethel at Gustie Soccer Field. Gustavus got on the scoreboard early when junior midfielder Coursey Edwards drilled the net with just over three minutes into the first half to notch her second goal of the season, and her first in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, off an assist from Sophie Leininger.
The first half remained scoreless until the 57:05 mark, when senior Brittany Chase found sophomore Molly Johnston to post her second goal of the season, giving the Gusties a 2-0 lead. Hannah Sturtz put the final shot on net, with an unassisted goal with 13:07 remaining.
“It was great to get multiple goals as well as keep the goose egg to get another shutout,” said Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie. “We came out and knew it was going to be another battle. Even though Bethel doesn’t necessarily have the record to show for it, we’ve been in that situation before where you’re still a talented team and things just aren’t going your way. We came out with the right mentality and scored early off a great combination and were able to keep the momentum flowing from there on and played some great soccer.”
The Gusties outshot Bethel by nearly a 4-to-1 margin, with 23 shots compared to the Royals six. Freshman Ashley Becker had four saves for the Gusties, earning the shutout playing the full 90 minutes of the match.
UW-Stout and the Gusties played to a scoreless tie in the first half, with the Blue Devils controlling possession for a majority of the period, forcing the Gusties to lean on their defense.
“We knew we’d be evenly matched with UW-Stout,” said assistant coach Benton Frayne. “We came out a bit flat in the first half and couldn’t seem to find a rhythm. UW-Stout played well, especially in the first, but we were able to turn it around and pick up a nice win.”
A Blue Devil foul in the 72nd minute gave sophomore defender Emily Odermatt a free kick on the right side of the field. Odermatt sent her kick high on goal over goalkeeper Paige Meyer into the bottom corner of the net, for her second goal of the season, giving the Gusties all they needed for the win.
“We didn’t make any big adjustments at halftime, we just talked about getting back to what we do, which is playing the Gustie tempo, finding our feet, and finding a rhythm, which we were eventually able to do that second half,” said Frayne. “We controlled possession much more and worked the game back into our favor because we did the things that we do well in terms of tempo and movement, so that was great to see.”
Becker earned the win, picking up her 10th win of the season, once again playing the full 90 minutes in net. The Gusties outshot the Blue Devils 11-4 on the day, with a 7-3 advantage on goal.