Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Gustavus Moves Up in U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Gustavus Adolphus College is ranked No. 64 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges list, which was released on Tuesday, Sept. 9. This is the highest Gustavus has appeared on the list in recent history and represents a jump of 12 spots from the publication’s 2014 rankings when the College was ranked No. 76 among liberal arts colleges. 

“These college rankings shine a positive light on Gustavus and are a great conversation starter for prospective students and their families,” Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman said. “We are proud of the outstanding liberal arts education we provide our students and are dedicated to our mission of preparing students for lives of leadership and service. We welcome interested students to come visit our campus and see for themselves why Gustavus is such a special place.”

U.S. News & World Report has been publishing college rankings since 1985 and is widely considered to be the most respected resource for parents and prospective students when it comes to such rankings. TheU.S. News methodology is based on several key measures of quality including graduation and retention rates (22.5%), assessment of excellence (22.5%), faculty resources (20%), student selectivity (12.5%), financial resources (10%), graduation rate performance (7.5%), and alumni giving (5%).
A total of 233 liberal arts colleges are included in this year’s list. The top 178 schools are ranked one through 178, while another 55 schools are listed alphabetically under the label “Second Tier” schools. The entire list and accompanying data can be found online at 

Several other publications have also recently released college rankings. Washington Monthly magazine recently named Gustavus the 63rd best liberal arts college in the country and also ranked the College No. 21 in its “Best Bang For Your Buck” category. Niche, formerly College Prowler, grouped liberal arts colleges and national universities together and ranked Gustavus No. 125 out of 892 schools in the country. Niche also highlighted the Gustavus Dining Service by placing the College at No. 7 on its Best Campus Food list.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Our First Home Match: UW-La Crosse

After a difficult first two games out in Washington, it was great to open up our Midwest play at our home field this Saturday!  The weather was perfect for us to go out for a great game between the Gusties and the UW La Crosse Eagles.  The girls once again had improved immensely since their last two matches, playing a much higher-pressure style of play as well as moving the ball around much faster and building attacks from all over the field.

For a 0-0 end score, the game was as thrilling as could be, with shots coming left and right from the girls, as they managed to outshoot the Eagles 13-9, with many of those coming close from within the 18 yard box which barely evaded the goal. 

The opportunities began with a beautiful cross sent in by Maddison Ackiss from the left which found the foot of unmarked Heather Geoff, striking the ball on her first touch and nearly opening the score sheet early in the game.  Other big opportunities came later in the game when Coursey Edwards managed to beat the Eagles defender down the left side and whiz in a great ball across the top of the 6 yard box, nearly put away by freshman Molly Johnston, followed by a blocked rebounded by Sophie Leininger. The game had everybody on their feet until the final seconds, as Maddison was able to steal the ball off an Eagles defender’s foot with just 20 seconds left in the match, beating the final defender and putting herself in for a 1v1 breakaway with the goalkeeper who did a great job to prevent the goal from going in, unfortunately.

There was impressive play all over the field from the girls, stepping to the ball high in the midfield and preventing the Eagles from creating much possession buildup throughout the game, while the back line did a remarkable job keeping an ‘eagle eye’ on opposing strikers’ movement as they attempted to sneak in behind our defenders. 

The girls made amazing strides coming into this game and stepping up all around the field.  We’re excited to get another week of training in as we prepare for our next matchup as the girls travel to UW Eau Claire next Saturday to take on the BlueGolds.

Women’s Soccer Ties 0-0 In 2014 Home Opener

Posted on September 7th, 2014 by Nick Hoelmer
Coursey Edwards (So., Eden Prarie, Minn.) was part of an improved Gustie attack on Saturday afternoon.

St. Peter, Minn. – After a pair of losses to nationally ranked opponents last weekend at the Gettysburg College Invitational, the Gustavus women’s soccer team was looking for improvement in its game against UW-La Crosse on Saturday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. Improvement they saw, and although they were not able to get on the scoreboard, the Gusties managed to secure a 0-0 tie against the Eagles after regulation and two overtime periods.
“It was night and day for us today compared to last weekend,” said head coach Laura Burnett-Kurie.

“It took us some time to get settled in, but once we did that, we started moving the ball and made some great runs. We were dangerous and we created opportunities, which was nice to see. We were able to find ourselves today and create a bit of an identity.”

Gustavus was able to outshoot UW-La Crosse 13-9 on the afternoon after only managing two shots in its two games against Carnegie Mellon and Gettysburg last weekend. Maddison Ackiss (So., Fairbanks, Alaska) had three of those shots, including one on goal in the final :20 seconds of regulation. Ackiss broke away from the Eagles’ back line and had just goalkeeper Ashley Tracy to beat, but Tracy was able to come up with the save to preserve the match and send it into overtime.

“Just from last weekend to today, we played with more intensity and improved so much,” said Burnett-Kurie. “That much improvement after just one week has me so excited because our ceiling is so high this year and it’s going to be really exciting moving forward, especially having another week of just practice before our next competition.”

In overtime, the Gusties stayed aggressive and booted four shots, two coming from Gustie first years Molly Johnston (Mendota Heights, Minn.) and Sophie Leininger (Plymouth, Minn.) within a :30 second span.  Tracy was once again able to come away with two saves to keep the game knotted at 0-0. Heather Goff (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) and Brittany Chase (Jr., Victoria, Minn.) also assisted in the Gustie attack by each tallying two shots.

“We just need to keep getting more comfortable with the ball,” said Burnett-Kurie. “If we’re able to have more confidence with that, we’ll be able to take more chances moving off the ball.  By doing that, we’ll change how other teams play rather than us having to adjust to what they’re doing.”

Gustie goalkeeper Caroline Olson (Sr., York, Penn.) played all 110 minutes and made a total of four saves.  With the complete-match shutout, she moves to 0-1-1.
The Gusties will look to continue their improvement next weekend when they travel across the border to Eau Claire, Wisconsin to take on UW-Eau Claire next Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

2014 Preseason Underway

Today we hit the one week marker since the girls arrived on campus here at Gustavus for the 2014 fall season, and we couldn't be more excited. The team has been working hard every day and the coaching staff is incredibly excited about what the incoming class has to offer, as well as the returning leadership from many of the upperclassmen veterans on the team.  We have a very young team, so many of the returners have been working to help many of the newcomers adapt to the new faster speed of play as we approach our first games coming up soon in Gettysburg, PA. The coaching staff has been very impressed with the new talent on the team, as they'll be excellent additions to an already exciting group team dynamic. As three-a-days have been winding down, the team has been focusing much more tactically all coming together to introduce our new players to our Gustie style of play.

Women's Soccer Preseason Update
Posted on August 20th, 2014 by Nick Hoelmer 

The Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team returned to campus to begin preseason training on Friday, Aug. 15 and has been hard at work ever since.  With 10 incoming freshman, the team looks to be young once again, but head coach Laura Burnett-Kurie is optimistic about the progress that has been made in less than week’s time.

“We have a fairly young team, but everyone is coming together really well,” said Burnett-Kurie following Wednesday’s practice. “The upperclassmen are leading a lot and taking the new players under their wing and we’re seeing a huge amount of progress. We’ve rebuilt the system…and now that the culture is established, we can focus on being a lot more dangerous and competitive.”

The Gusties will kick off their season by heading east to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to take part in the Gettysburg College Tournament on August 29 and 30. There, Gustavus will compete against Carnegie Mellon University on Friday at 4 p.m. and Gettysburg College on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Courtesy of

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What We are All About

Who are we?  What are we about?  What does that mean for your development? How will you grow as a player and person during your career at Gustavus?  Do we care about our student-athletes more than soccer players?  Are there open lines of communication?

Ahhh, the questions circling every recruits head.  So many questions and all of them play a pertinent role in making your college decision.  One blog post will not answer them all, but we hope as you keep up to date with our new posts and learn more and more about our wonderful program, most of them will be answered.  So for today, lets start with our program philosophy:

What is the program GROUNDED in?

The mission of NCAA Division III athletics is to provide student-athletes with an opportunity to excel on the field, in the classroom, and within the greater community.  Our program philosophy emanates from this mission and is grounded in encouraging and supporting our student-athletes to be the best individuals they can be in all aspects of their lives.  Our success as a program is not measured solely by a win-loss record, but also by all the accomplishments of our women’s soccer players.  This is achieved by building a team culture that develops the individual assets of each player and prepares the team to succeed at the next level, with a simultaneous understanding that the game, program and athletes are constantly evolving.  

We develop students of the GAME.

We believe in developing students of the game.  For our program to succeed at the highest level, each individual within the program should have a strong understanding of the game as a whole: know how to develop rhythms and movement, possess the ability to think and adjust on her feet, and appreciate each position’s and student-athlete’s role and responsibilities on and off the field.  The best way to accomplish this is to develop the all-around soccer player.  To be a great forward an athlete needs to recognize the perspective of a goalkeeper, the vision of a defender and the movement of a midfielder, as everyone connecting and working together on the field is key to accomplishing our program goals.  It is through the asking of questions that engage players in the analyzing and dissecting of the game and the exposure to situations that force them to read their surroundings and make quick decisions that this understanding is reached.

Relationships and RAPPORT are a cornerstone.  

For our approach to prove successful, it is important to develop a relationship and rapport with the players where they respect and listen to their coaches and fellow teammates, while feeling comfortable voicing new ideas and concerns.  We believe in having a two-way dialogue allowing players to share ownership of the objectives and goals of the program, emphasizing leadership development, and improving mental toughness.  By providing athletes with ownership of plans, decisions and goals, their motivation and effort increases. We strive to think about our athletes and find time in our days to talk to every player as we feel this is vital to the program’s success both on and off the field.  It is critical to not confine one’s relationship with players to soccer alone as it is our responsibility as their coaches to help them achieve excellence in all aspects of their lives. 

We believe in empowering YOU

Ultimately, soccer is an expression of creativity, intelligence, teamwork, communication, leadership skills, competitiveness, and athletic skills.  To achieve greatness on the field, each player needs to be comfortable expressing their abilities and passion for the game. The more comfortable players feel with one another and their skills, the more ownership they take of the program, and the more they will hold themselves and their teammates accountable.  By empowering student-athletes, inspiring them to strive for excellence, engaging them in their collegiate athletic experience, developing them as leaders and encouraging them to learn and work hard in all aspects of their lives, we strongly believe the Gustavus Women’s Soccer program will be able to compete on a conference, regional and national level.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summertime Adventures: Karlye Smith

We have a team of achievers.  They achieve success in the classroom. They achieve success on the soccer field.  They achieve success within the greater community.  And their achievement doesn't stop once summer vacation starts.  Here is Part One of our "Summertime Adventures" piece about the achievements of our Gustavus Women's Soccer players over summer 2014.

Name: Karlye Smith
Graduation Year: 2015
Major: Athletic Training
Position: Center Back
Hometown: Eau Claire, WI
Summertime Adventure: Internship at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida

What are you doing over the summer in Florida?

I received an offer for an internship with RehabWorks at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. RehabWorks is a on base free therapy center where all employees of KSC can come are get treatment, whether it's post-op, a nagging problem or an acute injury. It is staffed with two certified athletic trainers. RehabWorks offers one-time 30-minute consultations and in-patient therapy. Being an intern allows my to gain exposure to an industrial/corporate setting in which athletic trainers are staffed. It is completely different from being in an athletic training room. It has allowed me to branch out and do something new and different and where I'm scared, but leaps of faith are good and opportunities like this are far and few between. 

You had several internship opportunities this summer, why did you choose Florida?

I chose to take an internship in Florida, first, because it's Florida.. who the heck wouldn't!? Second, it's an amazing opportunity to expand my knowledge of athletic training and because I don't get the exposure to and industrial/corporate setting while attending school. Third, the other places I applied too didn't get back to me in a timely manner. 

How will this experience help you going into your senior year and post-college?

This experience has given me an opportunity to grow as a person, individually and in the major of athletic training. Coming into senior year, I have a new perspective. The more you communicate, the better you understand, the more questions you ask for clarification and plain curiosity,  the mistakes you make, the lessons you taken away from something, the more you grow as a person. I have become more confident, I'm not as afraid to make mistakes and have them backfire. The fact that I moved to a city I didn't know and where I knew no one, has allowed me to become stronger as an individual knowing that I am capable of taking on new challenges and risk failure and not accomplishing goals I have set for myself. I have more of a "be yourself, don't be afraid to make mistakes, failure is an option but strive to be better" mentality. I'm almost done with my internship and I have found out a lot about myself. I am proud of myself to taking this challenge. For moving somewhere where I didn't have any friends, knew nothing about the town, and getting myself into an internship that is in a totally different setting that what I'm used to. Overcoming the fear of failure has been a big part through this internship for myself. No one likes failure. Everyone is scared of failing, but you never know how strong you are until you take a leap, small or big, into something that you've never done before. I have found that out about myself. I am stronger. This new-found feeling will allow me to enter into my senior year, not afraid to go into something blind or scared. This same feelings I can transfer to post-college into the real world. The fact that failure is an option and not taking it as a bad thing but a good things. This is the biggest experience I have taken away from this internship. 

Who is the coolest person you've met down there? 

I have met a bunch of people! But the coolest person I have meet was the "big man on top", the guy in charge of all of KSC. 

What's it like living on the beach with three swimming pools and tennis courts within your apartment complex?

Unfortunately, I have not been able to spend quite as much time as I would have liked enjoying my apartment. But, when I do.. best vacation! Living on the beach is great. Running on the beach is not as enjoyable as I would like, but it works. I don't take advantage of the tennis courts or the pools.. I mean, there's a beach and the ocean.. who needs the pool!? There is a colony of peacocks.. not good. They are very loud and obnoxious at the wrong time of day and they walk around like they own the place. I have heard that sea turtles come and lay their eggs in the sand dunes, but I have not seen one yet and from what I've been told, it's very rare. Still hoping though. I also live within a half mile from the Port. This is where all of the cruise ships come and go. It's quite a sight to see such massive ships. Also on the Port, such great food! I spend most of my weekends there and on the beach. Livin' la vida loca! (;

How tan are you?

Tan... very tan. Pictures will prove it!!