Friday, November 13, 2015

Women’s Soccer Nearly Completes Comeback, Drops Heartbreaker 2-1 To Wheaton At NCAA Tourney

Posted on November 13th, 2015 by CJ Siewert

WHITEWATER, Wis. – It was a battle all the way to the final seconds as the Gustavus women’s soccer team nearly completed the comeback on Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, but Wheaton was able to make a number of late-game saves and escaped with a 2-1 win over the Gusties. With the loss, the Gusties finish their remarkable turnaround season with a 13-7-1 overall record.

“We are a young team and it was the first time in the national tournament, but after the first 45 minutes we realized that we were supposed to be here,” Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie said. “We showed that and took it to them and brought our game to that next level. We found our rhythm and put Wheaton on its heels and it was fantastic to see.”

Wheaton showed its veteran experience on the national stage as it put the pressure on early and scored the first goal of the game on a penalty kick 8:14 into the match. Nine minutes later, the Thunder took advantage of a turnover near midfield and got a breakaway goal to take a comfortable 2-0 advantage. The Gusties had a few scoring opportunities in the first 45 minutes but logged just four shots. Gustavus nearly netted its first goal of the game with just 20 seconds remaining in the half, but was called offsides.

After halftime, the Gusties came out rejuvenated and put the pressure on the Thunder. The first two shots of the second half were blocked, but at the 66:49 mark Emily Skogseth (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.) gave the Gusties their first goal of the game, which also gave them a shot of adrenaline. The goal came after a throw-in near the corner, centered by Brittany Chase (Sr., Victoria, Minn.) with a shot by Chase Miller (Fy., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) where Skogseth took the rebound and fired it into the back of the net past the diving keeper.

From that point on it was all Gustavus as it continued to put Wheaton on its heels. Skogseth gave the Gusties another great scoring opportunity in the 70th minute, but the Wheaton keep came up with a diving save. Maddison Ackiss (Jr., Fairbanks, Alaska) kept the pressure going with a shot-on-goal in the 79th minute, but was again blocked. With just three minutes left in the game, Wheaton keeper Mary Daghfal came up with quite possibly the biggest save of her career as she made a diving stop against a shot by Ackiss directly in front of the goal. Miller gave the Gusties one more look with a shot on goal with just three seconds left in the game, but once again Wheaton came up with a big save to secure the victory.

Gustavus finished the second half with 10 shots compared to nine by the Thunder. Throughout the full 90 minutes, the two teams each tallied 14 shots. Wheaton held a large margin in corner kicks, 7-1, and committed more fouls, 15-10.

MIAC Rookie-of-the-Year goalkeeper Ashley Becker (Fy., Farmington, Minn.) made three saves, while her counterpart, Daghfal, made eight stops.

“The players put their minds to it and they wanted to make this season special,” Burnett-Kurie said. “Everything they did with all the hours of practice and all the hours of watching film and studying, this was the culmination of all of that, and it was great to see. I think by simply getting over that hump and knowing that we belong here is huge for this team.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Four Gusties Named MIAC Women’s Soccer All-Conference, Burnett-Kurie Coach-Of-The-Year

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced its 2015 Women’s Soccer Awards on Thursday and Gustavus took home two of the top four honors. Laura Burnett-Kurie was named Coach-of-the-Year and goalkeeper Ashley Becker (Fy., Farmington, Minn.) was named Rookie-of-the-Year. Joining Becker on the All-MIAC Team are Maddison Ackliss (Jr., Fairbanks, Alaska),Sophie Leininger (So., Plymouth, Minn.) and Josie Mazzone (So., Rapid City, S.D.). The four All-Conference members are the most for Gustavus since 2000 and the first since 2008.

Laura Burnett-Kurie earns her first Coach-of-the-Year honor in her fourth season at the helm of the Gustavus women’s soccer program. Burnett-Kurie has directed the Gusties to the greatest turnaround in program history as they are currently 13-6-1 overall and finished 8-3 in the MIAC, and then went on to claim the MIAC Playoff title with a 1-0 victory at St. Thomas. Burnett-Kurie also has her squad in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998.

Ashley Becker made her presence known in a big way for the Gusties. In her first season wearing the Black and Gold, Becker posted a 0.97 goals against average and a .811 save percentage. Her 13 wins and 11 shutouts both rank first in the league.

Maddison Ackiss is Gustavus’s leading goal scorer with nine – including four game-winners – and she has added two assists for a team-high 20 points. Ackiss has also taken the most shots at 58 with a .155 shot percentage, and a .586 shot-on-goal percentage.

Sophie Leininger has been a major factor in the Gusties’ offensive production this season as she has a team-leading nine assists. She also has added a goal for 11 points. Her nine assists are one away from tying the Gustavus single season assist record.

Josie Mazzone is a leader on the Gustie defense that ranks fourth in the MIAC with a 0.97 goals against average. Mazzone has also contributed two assists.

Brittany Chase (Sr., Victoria, Minn.) was named Honorable Mention after recording three goals and six assists and Kendyl Landeck (Jr., Moscow, Idaho) was named to the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.

Josie Mazzone
Josie Mazzone
Maddison Ackiss
Maddison Ackiss
Sophie Leininger
Sophie Leininger
Ashley Becker
Ashley Becker

Posted on November 12th, 2015 by CJ Siewert

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Posted on November 7th, 2015 by Nick Hoelmer

The Gustavus Adolphus College women's soccer claimed the MIAC Playoff Championship with a 1-0 victory over St. Thomas at South Field. (Photo courtesy of Matt Higgins, MIAC Assistant Executive Director)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus College women’s soccer team is going dancing. Thanks to a goal from Chaselyn Miller (Fy., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) directly off a corner kick midway through the second half, the Gusties earned a 1-0 victory over the University of St. Thomas in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Playoff Championship game on Saturday afternoon at South Field. The win clinches the first MIAC Playoff Championship for Gustavus in program history, and the Gusties also earn the MIAC’s automatic bid into the 2015 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament.

“I’m almost speechless … this is fantastic,” said Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie following the game. “The girls came out as if they had no nerves and played our style of soccer from the start. We focused on finding our feet, being creative, and doing the little things, and those little things certainly paid off in the end.”

The Gusties threatened in their offensive zone from the start, as two early corner kicks from Maddison Ackiss (Jr., Fairbanks, Alaska) in the first 10 minutes of the game led to dangerous shot-on-goal opportunities for the Black and Gold. However, Tommie goalkeeper Tarynn Theilig made saves on each to keep the score knotted at 0-0 early. Senior forward Brittany Chase (Victoria, Minn.) also had a great look on goal at the 35 minute mark, rocketing a shot from the top of the box, but Theilig made another nice save to preserve the tie. Overall, the Gusties tallied seven first half shots to the Tommies’ four.

“When you get to the MIAC Championship, you know that both teams and their players are going to be quality and St. Thomas was no exception,” said Burnett-Kurie. “We missed out on some opportunities early, but we were able to keep pushing and keep shooting, knowing the dam would eventually break and that’s what happened.”

The dam broke indeed, as Miller blasted a corner kick just over the outstretched hands of Theilig and into the upper righthand corner of the net 12:23 into the second half to give the Gusties the 1-0 advantage. The goal was Miller’s fifth of the season and proved to be the game-winner, as Gustie goalie Ashley Becker (Fy., Farmington, Minn.) was able to keep out the Tommie’s three shot attempts following the goal to clinch the victory.

Becker earned the win between the posts for Gustavus, playing the entire 90 minutes and making three saves in her 11th shutout of the season. The rookie ‘keeper is now 13-6-1 on the year.

The playoff championship marks a significant turnaround for a Gustie team that finished its 2014 season 2-13-3. “This team has a high level of camaraderie and decided they wanted to turn it up a notch this season,” concluded Burnett-Kurie. “Last year, we knew we could play and do these things, but it’s tough when you don’t get the results. This year, the team came in and said losing was too easy and that they wanted to win. That was the turning point … they just needed to get over the mental hump, which is a difficult thing to do, so I’m really proud of them.”

With a spot in the NCAA Tournament now in hand, Gustavus will now await the release of the national tournament bracket, which will be announced during the Division III Women’s Soccer Selection Show on Monday, November 9 at noon (CST).

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Women’s Soccer Advances To MIAC Championship, Blanks Concordia 2-0

Posted on November 4th, 2015 by CJ Siewert

Maddison Ackiss scored what proved to be the game-winner just 2:45 into
 the game. (photo courtesy of AJ Dahm, SPX Sports)

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s soccer team shut out Concordia College 2-0 in the semifinals of the MIAC Playoffs on Wednesday, marking the first postseason victory for the Gusties since 1998 in their first ever MIAC Playoff game. The Gusties improve to 12-6-1 overall and face No. 1 seed St. Thomas in the conference championship at 1 p.m. Saturday in St. Paul.

“The girls and all the other players before us have worked hard to get the program back to this stage and that’s really exciting,” Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie said. “It’s great to finally see all that work pay off. We went from near the bottom of the conference to now going to the conference championship game.”

Sophie Leininger battles for possession with Concordia’s
Alexandra Jones. (photo by AJ Dahm)

It only took 2:45 for the Gusties to take the lead as Maddison Ackiss (Jr., Fairbanks, Alaska) found the back of the net for her ninth goal of the season on an assist from Brittany Chase (Sr., Victoria, Minn.). The goal gave the Gusties a major boost of energy and it proved to be the game winner. Neither team found the net in the remainder of the first half and Gustavus led 1-0 after 45 minutes.

The Gusties started the second half similar to the first as Emily Odermatt (So., Minneapolis, Minn.)scored her third goal of the season 8:50 into the second. Coursey Edwards (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.)was credited with the assist. Concordia posed a few scoring threats in the second half, but Gustie keeper Ashley Becker (Fy., Farmington, Minn.) kept everything in front of her, totaling four saves on the day.

Concordia took five shots in each half for a total of 10, while Gustavus took eight shots in each half for a total of 16. Gustavus also led in corner kicks 5-3.

“Just the fact that the field from Saturday is soft and there was a lot of wind today, I thought that we did a good job of overcoming those uncontrollable factors,” Burnett-Kurie said. “We put high pressure on. We knew we needed to high press them because they are a great team and they have a lot of talented players. We put together a full 90 minutes where we were able to high press them and really get after it.”

Gustavus now travels to St. Paul on Saturday for the MIAC Championship against St. Thomas, who defeated Augsburg 2-0 today. In the regular season matchup, the Gusties defeated the Tommies 2-1 on Sept. 26 in St. Peter.

“It’s going to be a great game,” Burnett-Kurie said. “Both teams like to try to find feet and they like to try to possess the ball and those games are always entertaining to watch. Our biggest focus now is to continue to work on the things that got us to this point. Going back to the fundamentals and doing all the little things right is going to be the difference. It’s our first time in the conference championship game, but our girls are up for it and it’s going to be a great battle.”

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Women’s Soccer Clinches No. 2 Seed In MIAC Playoffs With 1-0 Overtime Win Over Hamline

Posted on October 31st, 2015 by Nick Hoelmer
Chaselyn Miller scored the game-winning goal for Gustavus in overtime on Saturday, giving the Gusties a 1-0 victory over Hamline.

SAINT PETER, Minn. – After suffering two straight conference defeats, the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s soccer team got itself back on track at the right time, as it secured a 1-0 overtime victory over Hamline University on Saturday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. With the win, the Gusties conclude their regular season with an overall record of 11-6-1 and 8-3-0 in the MIAC. The win also secured Gustavus the No. 2 seed in the MIAC Playoffs, which begin Wednesday for the Gusties, who earned a first-round bye with Saturday’s win.

“It was an awesome win today,” said Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie following the game. “It’s a great tribute to Britt [Chase] as our only senior and it’s a great tribute to this entire team for how hard they’ve worked all season long. Going into overtime, our women had it in their minds that they wanted to win the game and that’s what they made sure happened. We had been peppering their goal a lot, so it was nice to finally put one in the back of the net at the end there.”

The Gusties dominated on the offensive end throughout the game, holding the advantage in the shot-count by a tally of 10-4, including a 5-1 mark in shots on goal, but neither team was able to put home a goal in regulation, which sent the game to sudden-death overtime. There, seven minutes in, Coursey Edwards (Jr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) played the ball in from the left corner. The ball was deflected by a Hamline defender, but was rebounded by first-year Chaselyn Miller (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) who buried it into the bottom lefthand corner for her fourth goal of the season.

Ashley Becker (Fy., Farmington, Minn.) earned her ninth shutout of the season between the posts for Gustavus, bringing her record to 11-6-1 on the year.

“We just need to continue focusing on us,” said Burnett-Kurie. “Especially because there is a play-in game and we’re not going to know who we play until Tuesday evening, we need to just focus on what got us to this point and continue to have that fight and overall edge.”

Gustavus will next face the winner of No. 3 Macalester and No. 6 Concordia in the MIAC playoff’s semifinals, which will be played Wednesday at 2 p.m. on the Gustie Soccer Field. Macalester and Concorida will play Tuesday afternoon in St. Paul.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Women’s Soccer Loses 3-2 At Concordia, Clinches Playoff Berth

Posted on October 28th, 2015 by CJ Siewert

Chaselyn Miller scored her third goal of the
season in the loss at Concordia.

MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s soccer team made a strong case for a comeback Wednesday afternoon, but ended up losing 3-2 at Concordia College. The Gusties fall to 10-6-1 overall and 7-3 in the MIAC, but even with the loss Gustavus has clinched its first ever MIAC Playoff berth as a result of other teams falling out of playoff contention. The playoff berth is Gustavus’ first postseason appearance since 1998 when it reached the second round of the national tournament, which was five years before the MIAC initiated its playoffs.

“Despite the loss today, we are pleased that we have secured a spot in the conference playoffs,” Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie said. “It’s a testament to how hard this team has worked all season long. But for now our focus is to finish strong with the last game of the regular season on Saturday and then carry that into next week’s playoffs.”

Concordia led 1-0 at halftime as it scored with less than four minutes remaining in the half. The Cobbers outshot the Gusties 7-2 in the opening 45 minutes.

Gustavus netted the equalizer four minutes into the second half on a goal by Chaselyn Miller (Fy., Brooklyn Park, Minn.), assisted by Maddison Ackiss (Jr., Fairbanks, Alaska). But a pair of Concordia goals within a minute of each other in the 56th minute proved to be too much of a hole to dig out of for the Gusties.

Emily Skogseth (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.) brought the game within one goal at the 69:00 mark, but Concordia held off the strong offensive pressure put on by the Gusties late in the game.

“For the first time in a while we showed true fight in the second half,” Burnett-Kurie said. “That fight allowed us to tie up the game early, where Maddison Ackiss found Chase Miller who beat her defender and curled the ball into the top corner. Unfortunately we had a minute lapse where we gave up two goals and a 3-1 deficit was too much for us to overcome.”

Gustavus outshot Concordia 12-5 in the second half and 14-12 in the game. The Gusties also held a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks. Ashley Becker (Fy., Farmington, Minn.) made four saves in net for the Gusties.

“We brought the game within one, hit a cross bar, forced their keeper to come up with some big saves and certainly put them under pressure,” Burnett-Kurie said. “Several of our players stepped up big time in this game but we still need more to reach that next level.”

Gustavus closes out the regular season at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against Hamline.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Odermatt's Free Kick Goal Propels Women's Soccer To 1-0 Victory Over UW-Stout

Posted on October 21st, 2015 by Nick Hoelmer

Emily Odermatt scored the Gusties' lone goal in a 1-0 win over UW-Stout on Wednesday.
ST.PETER, Minn. - The Gustavus Adolphus College women's soccer team earned a 1-0 victory over the University of Wisconsin-Stout on Wednesday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer field. 

With the win, the Gusties improve to 10-4-1 overall while the Blue Devils fall to 6-6-3.

"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."

The Gusties and Blue Devils played to a 0-0 tie in the first half, with UW-Stout controlling possession for a majority of the period, forcing Gustavus to rely heavily on its defenders.

"We brought in our back line this week to look at video and make sure we were being smart with our communication," said Frayne. "UW- Stout had a lot of movement up top that challenged us right away and we couldn't seem to find our rhythm in that first half, which forced us to be a counter-attacking team. They were the better team in the first, but it's always nice when we can rely on our back four and Ashley [Becker] to keep us in games."

In the second half, the Gusties seemed to find their groove and began controlling the ball more consistently. Then, a UW-Stout foul at the 71:57 mark gave Gustavus defender Emily Odermatt (So., Minneapolis, Minn.) a free kick on the right side of the field and mere feet in front of the center line. Odermatt sent her kick soaring high towards the goals, the ball took a large bounce, and skipped over Blue Devil goalie Paige Meyer's left shoulder and into the bottom left corner of the net, untouched by any other player. The goal was Odermatt's second of the season and gave the Gusties all it would need to come away with 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."

Gustavus outshot UW-Stout 11-4 on the day, including 7-3 mark on goal, and also held a 3-0 advantage in corner kicks. All of the Gustie corner kicks came in the second half.

Ashley Becker (Fy., Farmington, Minn.) reached the double digit mark in the win column on the season as the rookie 'keeper picked up her 10th win between the posts after playing the full 90 minutes. Becker is now 10-4-1 on the year.

The Gusties will return to the field on Saturday for a conference matchup with St. Catherine University (9-5-1, 4-4-0 MIAC). A Gustavus win would clinch the program a MIAC playoff spot for the first time since the playoff system began in 2003.

"St. Catherine is a good team that has picked up some nice wins this season," concluded Frayne. "It'll definitely be a challenge, but if we come in, play our tempo right away, and are focused, we should have the opportunity to play another good game and hopefully pick up a win."