Auggies remain unbeaten with 3-0 win
MINNEAPOLIS -- Scoring three first-half goals and outshooting their opponents by an 18-5 margin, the Augsburg College men's soccer team remained unbeaten with its fourth straight shutout victory, a 3-0 triumph over visiting St. John's University in a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest on Tuesday evening at Edor Nelson Field.
Augsburg (7-0-1 overall, 4-0-0 MIAC), ranked No. 23 in the latest D3soccer.com Division III national poll, received first-half goals from Harald Fauskanger (FY, Bergen, Norway), Chinyan Ollor (FY, Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View HS) and Peter Loyd (SR, Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong HS) in scoring the victory.
Goalkeeper Clayton Lynch (SO, Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier HS) made three saves to claim his fourth shutout of the season and ninth in his 13 collegiate career starts.
Augsburg extended its home unbeaten streak to 17 straight games (16-0-1), dating to the 2009 season. Augsburg's 7-0-1 start to the season is its best start after eight games since the 2006 campaign, when it also went 7-0-1 en route to a 8-0-2 start.
The Auggies attacked early, outshooting St. John's (4-5-0 overall, 0-4-0 MIAC) by an 8-1 margin in the first half and scoring three goals. In their eight games this season, the Auggies have outscored their opponents by a 17-2 margin.
"I was pleased with our performance tonight, particularly in stretches of the first half and the first 10-15 minutes of the second period," said Augsburg head coach Greg Holker. "I thought we flowed well and we scored three very good goals."
Fauskanger scored his second goal of the season in the eighth minute, heading in a left-side feed from Matt Bowman (SR, Maple Grove, Minn.). In the 39th minute, Ollor scored his first collegiate goal, sliding home a shot to the goal on an assist from Mohamed Sankoh (SO, St. Paul, Minn./Como Park HS). Just under three minutes later, Loyd collected his second goal of the season, finishing a shot off a corner kick by Mathias Macody Lund (SO, Bergen, Norway).
"Bowman did well to hold the ball up and wait for Harald to arrive before serving a gem for the first goal. Chinyan and Sankoh worked very well to combine in a tight space and the rookie got on the board for the first time with a gentle finish," Holker said. "I was most pleased with Loyd's goal, however, because we have had so many corners in our favor and haven't scored enough of them. That was a massive moment for the game. I thought Ahmed Gobana (SR, Burnsville, Minn.) had a very good performance tonight on both sides of the ball. That was very encouraging."
The Auggie defense held firm for its fourth straight shutout and sixth of the season, keeping the visitors to just five shots in the game, three on-goal. Zane Heinselman (FY, River Falls, Wis.) had two shots for the Johnnies. St. John's goalkeeper Ryan Brutger (SO, St. Cloud, Minn./Apollo HS) had seven saves in a losing effort.
"Another shutout was important to us, although at moments toward the end of the game it was threatened by St. John's," Holker said. "We have to clean that up and absolutely protect the goal instead of relying on some luck. Overall, it was a good team effort and I am pleased with this group."
Augsburg returns to action on Friday (9/30) at 7:30 p.m. with a nonconference game at Loras (Iowa). Loras is ranked No. 11 nationally in the D3soccer.com national poll and No. 7 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III national poll. Both Augsburg and Loras are ranked in the NSCAA's North Region rankings, Loras at No. 1 and Augsburg at No. 5.
"This weekend is what we have been waiting for all season -- and three guys have been waiting since 2008 -- another chance to play a fantastic Loras team," Holker said. "They have been the standard in our region for four to five years now, and it's up to the rest of us to catch them. They haven't lost in the Rock Bowl in 16 games and we know how hard it is going to be to play there, but we want challenges like this on our schedule."