Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Macalester College: 1-0

A truly thrilling match this Saturday as the girls faced off against Macalester College, in an overtime match yet again.  As our results against Macalester have been very difficult in the past, it was incredible to not only see the match go into overtime, but to see the dominance and attacking flair that the girls displayed on the field during the game and overtime!

The girls really stepped up their pressure, pushing high up the field and really stringing together some fantastic buildups, really controlling play for multiple long stretches of play.  Junior Brittany Chase was an absolute workhorse with her movement up top, constantly looking to get the ball at her feet and test the defense, which worked fantastic with central midfield pair Monica Pelkey and Sophie Leininger connecting magnificently through the middle, working the ball side to side, and forward and back, including everybody into the attack.  We’re also very proud of sophomore goalkeeper Roisen Granlund for stepping up with some big saves after senior Caroline Olsen suffered an injury midway through the first half.

The girls really worked throughout every minute of the game and had everybody at the field believing the result would be in our favor, especially midway into the second overtime period as sophomore attacker Jana Elliot got on the end of a magically placed cross from freshman Molly Johnston right behind the defense and connected with an excellent volley, forcing the goalkeeper to make a highlight save to keep her side in the match, unfortunately leading to a momentous buildup out of the back which resulted in a Macalester one touch finish from distance being placed right into the corner out of reach of Roisen.

Although the result didn’t go our way, it was a great game for everybody watching.  The girls played for the win, which the coaching staff will encourage every day of the week.  They played their hearts out this Saturday and left it all out on the pitch, but sometimes that just how soccer is; momentum can shift at any second and effect the final score line. We’re now very anxious to continue this attacking energy though, as the girls travel now to Menomonie, WI to face off with UW-Stout on Wednesday, October 22.

Women’s Soccer Downed By Macalester 1-0
Posted on October 18th, 2014 by Nick Hoelmer

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team was downed by Macalester College 1-0 on Saturday afternoon on the Gustie Soccer Field in double overtime. With the loss, Gustavus falls to 1-10-3 overall and 0-6-2 in the MIAC, while Macalester moves to 7-6-1 overall and 3-4-1 in the MIAC.

“Despite another heartbreaking loss, we are proud of how well our team played,” said head coach Laura Burnett-Kurie. “Our passing was crisp, our defense was solid and we created dangerous opportunities forcing their backline and goalkeeper to come up with big saves.”

Gustavus forward Jana Elliott (So., Eagan, Minn.) had an opportunity to give the Gusties their first conference victory of the season on a shot two minutes into the second overtime period, but it just missed wide right to extend the game. Less than two minutes later, Macalester took advantage when Scot senior midfielder Hannah Walker received a cross from teammate Hannah Pollard-Garber to score her second goal of the season and seal the game for Macalester.

“This game showed the true nature of soccer, you can miss a great opportunity and have the momentum and then the next thing you know the other team puts the ball in the back of the net,” said Burnett-Kurie. “It just takes that one play to change the outcome of a game and unfortunately, we’ve been on the wrong side of that play for several overtime games this year.”

Gustavus goalkeeper Roisen Granlund (So., St. Paul, Minn.) saw her record drop to 0-2-0 on the season after coming in approximately 32 minutes into the game when starting goalkeeper Caroline Olson (Sr., York, Penn.) sustained a head injury. Granlund allowed one goal and made three saves in 71:34, while Olson allowed no goals and made one save in 31:56.

“At the end of the day, it’s not all about winning and losing, it’s about improving every game, fighting until the end and having the confidence to keep believing in our style of play,” said Burnett-Kurie. “Our girls are embracing that, which is fantastic and we can’t complain about the heart they are putting into the season.”

The Gusties’ next action will be on Wednesday when the team travels to Menomonie, Wisconsin for their last non-conference contest with UW-Stout at 7 p.m.
St. Catherine's University: 1-0

The girls faced a tough opponent this Tuesday in their match against the St. Kate’s Wildcats, as we went into yet another overtime game. This was a well fought game from both ends, as the girls began to create some good possession and really started to work the ball side to side a bit more, with senior goalkeeper Caroline Olson coming up with some big saves to keep the Gusties in the thriller match.

After an injury early in the second half, the girls were forced to move around a bit more into positions, and hats off to them for stepping into new roles well and with confidence, with senior Heather Goff sliding back into an outside defender position and Jana Elliot moving into our attacking midfielder position in her place.

Although the girls battled all game in a very back-and-fourth match, it unfortunately came down to a Wildcat free kick by Kailee Katt which was an absolute cracker into the top corner of the goal, narrowly escaping Caroline in the net.

We’re very proud of the girls, however, for their ability to continue battling through these overtime games, as it’s easy to overlook the strain it takes to play a battle of a game for a full 90 minutes as our bench is currently thin with injuries, but the girls are continuing to fight which we cannot praise them enough for, and their confidence that our conference win is soon in sight!

Women’s Soccer Suffers 1-0 Overtime Loss To St. Catherine
Posted on October 14th, 2014 by Nick Hoelmer

St. Peter, Minn. – After two hard fought periods in regulation that resulted in a 0-0 tie, the Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team was hoping for some overtime fortune that has eluded them so far this season. However, St. Catherine was able to take advantage of a timely free kick in the first overtime session that resulted in a 1-0 victory for the Wildcats on Tuesday afternoon at the Gustie Soccer Field. With the loss, Gustavus drops to 0-5-2 in the MIAC and 1-9-3 overall, while St. Catherine moves to 3-4-0 in the MIAC and 6-6-1 overall.

“We had our chances again today but just could not capitalize,” said head coach Laura Burnett-Kurie. “It was another match where we worked hard, but we just couldn’t find the goal. It’s another frustrating loss for us, but credit certainly needs to be given to St. Kate’s for their solid play.”

The two teams battled throughout the first two halves and each had their opportunities. But solid play from Gustie goalkeeper Caroline Olson (Sr., York, Penn.) and Wildcat keeper Danielle Mendez kept both teams scoreless and forced overtime.

In its fourth overtime period this season, Gustavus was outshot by St. Catherine 5-0, including the game-winning goal from Wildcat Kailee Katt on a free kick outside the box in the 98th minute. The goal was Katt’s first of the season and the match was only her sixth of the entire 2014 season.

“I was disappointed by how flat we came out in overtime,” said Burnett Kurie. “We just haven’t quite found that edge that we need yet this season and that has really hurt us, especially in close contests like this. That being said, we have four matches left in our season, including three against members of our conference, and we are not going to quit. We’ll continue to stay motivated and hungry to win and positively represent Gustavus. There is a lot we can take away from this season and a lot that our younger players can learn.”

Olson finished with one goal allowed and made eight saves in 98:33 and Sophie Leininger (Fy., Plymouth, Minn.) had two shots to lead the Gusties.

Gustavus will have the remainder of the week to practice before taking on Macalester College (1-4-1 MIAC, 5-6-1 overall) on Saturday afternoon in a 1 p.m. match at the Gustie Soccer Field.

Monday, October 13, 2014

University of Saint Thomas: 3-1

It was a hard fought battle this Saturday against the Saint Thomas, as the gusties fell 3-1 to the Tommies.  The girls managed to knock the ball around very well, though, as we were able to maintain very much of the possession in the first half and really control the midfield. We had a few slight momentary breakdowns in the first half that unfortunately saw us 3-0 at halftime, as the Tommies were able to find the net off of a few shots from distance that caught the players by surprise.

Besides those few instances however, the girls were able to stay very strong throughout the back, as they held the scoreline to 3 for Saint Thomas through the second half, as we were then able to nearly spark a comeback as Maddison Ackiss slotted in a beautiful shot after receiving a perfectly threaded through ball from Sophie Leininger, finding herself 1v1 with the goalkeeper and calmly placing the ball into the back of the net. The girls almost saw their second goal of the half come just minutes later as Brittany Chase nearly netted an absolute cracker of a shot that had gone just inches outside of the goal.

The girls are really starting to work the ball around well, beginning to work side to side very well, bringing our back line into the attack more which we were happy to see as well as starting to really work off of the feet of our forwards a lot more. We’re looking forward to then working off of this play and feeding off of it as the girls go into our next home match, this Thursday, October 14th against Saint Catherine’s University at 4pm.

Women’s Soccer Falls To St. Thomas 3-1
Posted on October 11th, 2014 by Nick Hoelmer

Maddison Ackiss scored her eighth goal of the season in a 3-1 loss to St. Thomas on Saturday Afternoon

St. Paul, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team dropped its third straight contest on Saturday afternoon when it was defeated by the University of St. Thomas 3-1 at South Field. The loss puts Gustavus at 0-4-2 in the MIAC and 1-8-3 overall while St. Thomas moves to 5-2-0 in the MIAC and 6-5-1 overall.

The Tommies were aggressive from the start, scoring their first goal less than two minutes into the game on a goal by Morgan McConachie from the top of the box at the 1:50 mark. Thirty minutes of play passed before Tommie forward Sydney Presley scored two goals within nine seconds of one another to put St. Thomas up 3-0 at the 32:48 mark and give the home team a comfortable lead heading into halftime.

Gustavus forward Maddison Ackiss (So., Fairbanks, Alaska) scored her eighth goal of the season at the 58:08 mark to bring the Gusties within two, but Gustavus could not do anymore damage.

Caroline Olson (Sr., York, Penn.) took the loss at keeper for Gustavus. Olson allowed three goals, had three saves and saw her record drop to 1-8-3 on the season.

Gustavus will try and find its first MIAC victory in its next match when St. Catherine University (5-6-1, 2-4 MIAC) comes to St. Peter on Tuesday afternoon for a 4 p.m. match.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

UW-River Falls Falcons:   1-0

It was a tough loss in River Falls, as the girls fell 1-0 to a very competitive UW River Falls side.  It was an exciting night, however, as we were playing the first ever soccer game out on their new turf field, and were even graced with a visit from River Falls’ first ever live mascot, as their Falcon was ushered onto the field for the playing of the national anthem. 

It was a fast paced game however, against a very athletic River Falls team. The girls did fantastic to match their speed and intensity though, as the Gusties did very well to be pushing up the field time after time into dangerous areas. We really began to work the ball off of our forwards’ feet very well, which was great to see and it help contribute to being able to build up very dangerous attacks which we unfortunately struggled to capitalize on.

Defensively, the girls did great to control the Falcons attackers and limit them to options from out wide and really kept them from being able to work with the ball inside or around the 18 yard box. The high pressure within our defensive third really helped prevent the Falcons from producing much without having a defender stepping early to them, despite one scramble inside the box after a few unfortunate bounces that lead to the ball popping out right to a River Falls player’s foot in front of our net.

We were happy with the girls’ work rate this game and their desire to really work the ball around. They were moving the ball up and back through our forwards, and looking to change our point of attack frequently. While tiny details kept us from completing our attacks, the girls are really beginning to build up some very dangerous attacks and we’re looking forward to our match now on Saturday against St. Thomas, which is sure to be another very back and fourth battle.

Women’s Soccer defeated by UW-River Falls 1-0
Posted on October 8th, 2014 by Nick Hoelmer

Caroline Olson allowed one goal and made seven saves on Wednesday against UW-River Falls

River Falls, Wis. – After falling to St. Olaf College 1-0 this past Saturday, the Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team was defeated by an identical 1-0 score on Wednesday evening, this time to UW-River Falls in a match at Ramer Field. With the loss, the Gusties fall to 1-7-3 overall, while the Falcons move to 7-3-2.

“Our women did a fabulous job pushing up the field into dangerous areas,” said head coach Laura Burnett-Kurie. “We just struggled to make that final move in front of the net to put a goal away.”

UW-River Falls came out firing and outshot Gustavus 9-3 in the first half. However, the Gustie defense kept the Falcons out of the goal for the first 45 minutes and beyond. But the Falcon’s Nina Abrahamson found the goal at the 47:53 mark on an assist from Abby Soderholm and Alex Swatloski. The goal was Abrahamson’s third goal of the season and proved to be enough to clinch the victory for the home team. While there was no more scoring, UW-River Falls dominated the remainder of the half, outshooting Gustavus 14-2 in the second half and bringing the total to 23-5 on the match.

“They were a very athletic team that was able to move the ball well through the midfield,” said Burnett-Kurie. “Our women did a great job tonight of containing their attackers and preventing them from exploiting the area within our 18-yard box.”

Caroline Olson (Sr., York, Penn.) took another tough loss in goal for the Gusties. Olson allowed just one goal for the third match this season, but was again unable to come away with a victory in one of those matches and saw her record drop to 1-6-3. Olson also had seven saves on the evening.

Gustavus will look to get back on track when they travel to St. Paul to take on the University of St. Thomas (5-5-1, 4-2-0 MIAC) on Saturday in a 1 p.m. match.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Homecoming/YUWA Charity Game!  
St. Olaf: 1-0

We were excited to have local youth soccer players (first row of 3 girls) come and help as ball girls for our YUWA charity game!

It was a windy day as the girls faced off with the Oles of St. Olaf.  It was a very exciting game, as the girls began to really build up some excellent attacks, but struggled however, to find the back of the net as the game ended in favor of the Oles at 1-0.   

We were very impressed with the girls’ ability to begin knocking the ball around very well throughout the game, starting right from the kickoff with far more energy than they had come out in our last match against St. Mary’s, and the newfound energy was very noticeable as the girls got in numerous times, even forcing a goal line safe from the Ole defenders when a ball was beautifully sent in from the right and senior Heather Geoff managed to get a touch on the ball past the goalkeeper but was barely denied the goal as a St. Olaf defender cleared the shot off of the line at the last second.

The girls were doing great to press from all over the field, creating an exciting battle throughout the midfield as gusties Sophie and Moni worked hard to match up with a trio of Oles in the midfield. Unfortunately, St. Olaf managed to build up an attack early in the second half ending with an absolutely stunning shot from the side, managing to find its way right into the far top corner of the net.

The gusties weren’t don’t yet, though, as they began to battle back and even though the bench was fairly short due to pressing injuries, fought every minute for an equalizer which nearly arrived off of a pass from freshman Sophie Leininger up to freshman Hannah Sturtz in past the St. Olaf defense, managing to beat the goalkeeper on the dribble and narrowly denied a goal by an Olaf player getting herself in the way of the shot at the last moment.

It was a tough game to play as St. Olaf was a very strong side, giving up nothing easy and forcing the girls to work for every touch on the ball, as well as the wind proving a complicating factor on the day.  Once again, huge improvements are being made as the girls are beginning to find their rhythm more consistently and playing with more energy; we are very excited going into our next match at UW River Falls on Wednesday, which is certain to be another great matchup.

 YUWA Dinner

After the game, the team and fans enjoyed a fantastic dinner out at the LoneStar, a local restaurant here in Saint Peter.  The event was a charity game for YUWA, a Minnesota-based non-profit organization which reaches out to girls in rural India, specifically Jharkland, and utilizes team sports such as soccer to act as a platform for young women to gain confidence and develop leadership in order to make a change in their world.
Everybody enjoyed their meal at the Lone Star following the exciting match

The event offered an array of silent auction prizes from a variety of local businesses, ranging anywhere from locally made jewelry to free rounds of golf at the North Links golf course.  The LoneStar was fantastic in providing delicious food deals for our clan of soccer players and fans, which was truly a delight. Between donations at the game and at the dinner, supporters of the Women’s soccer team managed to raise over $600 for YUWA, which was absolutely incredible to see! We’re more  than happy with the turnout, and very pleased that everybody seemed to enjoy the day.

Women’s Soccer Falls to St. Olaf 1-0
Posted on October 4th, 2014 by Nick Hoelmer

Freshman Ellyn Adelmann dribbles the ball during Saturday's match against St. Olaf College

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team fell to St. Olaf College 1-0 on Saturday afternoon in a match at the Gustie Soccer Field. With the loss, Gustavus moves to 0-3-2 in the MIAC and 1-6-3 overall, while St. Olaf moves to 2-2-1 in the MIAC and 2-7-1 overall.

“We came out a lot stronger this game which is a huge improvement from some of our last games,” said head coach Laura Burnett-Kurie. “We were fighting hard the whole time. The wind was tough to play in, but I thought we kept the ball on the ground and moved it around quite well. We had some opportunities today, but they just didn’t go our way. They scored off a great shot, so it’s something where we did battle, but we just couldn’t find a way to equalize.”

The first half proved to be even and the match went into halftime knotted at 0-0. However, 11 minutes into the second half, the Ole’s Emily Sierakowski scored her first goal of the season on an unassisted boot past Gustavus keeper Caroline Olson (Sr., York, Penn.) to put St. Olaf up 1-0. That goal proved to be the difference maker, as neither team would score for the remainder of the game.

“The overall consistency was there for us today,” said Burnett-Kurie. “We’ve been pretty up and down so far this season, but today our energy was up the whole time and there weren’t any lulls really. Just continuing to find that consistency is going to make us better and better. We also brought several players off the bench again and they went in and played very well for us, so it’s great to see that those players are getting their time in and stepping up.”

St. Olaf held the advantage in shots taken on the day 11-4 and also held the advantage in corner kicks 4-2.

Olson suffered the loss for Gustavus and her record now stands at 1-5-3 on the season. She allowed just the one goal and made six saves on the day. St. Olaf keeper Ruth Hesse was awarded the win after needing to make just two saves.

Gustavus will be in action again on Wednesday when they travel to River Falls, Wisconsin for a 7 p.m. non-conference match against UW-River Falls.