Yellowjackets Edge Saints in Double OT
Yellowjackets 1, St. Scholastica 0
It was a regular season game that felt like a playoff game. It was a non-conference match-up that felt every bit like a WIAC contest with a championship on the line. It was everything a match between two rivals in bordering states should be, and then some. It was a match-up of two ranked teams, the Yellowjackets seventh and St. Scholastica tenth in the NCAA Division III North Region. It was the "Border Battle," and the rain didn't dampen the spirits, but rather added to the atmosphere of the latest chapter in the novel that is the Yellowjackets versus the Saints.
Back and forth play, an abundance of fouls and a handful of yellow cards were just a few of the highlights of the night. Yet in the end, a goal in the 117th minute by a freshman who has played only a handful of matches in 2011 was the evening's ultimate highlight, as the Yellowjackets took down the Saints 1-0 in double overtime Wednesday night at Public Schools Stadium.
The win was a big one for the Yellowjackets, who were coming off one of their most disappointing outings of the season, a 3-0 loss to UW-Whitewater last Saturday.
It was a match ruled by field position, ball control, and great goalkeeping. Freshman Matt Elder (New Hope, Minn.) was the main attraction in the match for the Yellowjackets, finishing with six saves, several being of the gigantic and timely variety. But Elder's heroics were upstaged in the waning minutes by freshman Ben Kasper (Eagan, Minn.). Kasper was the only Yellowjacket to have more than one shot on goal in the match, and he made his second one count. With the match scoreless and in the second overtime, sophomore Ben Royce (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) got the ball and put a shot on goal that was stopped. The rebound squirted free up the middle and Kasper was there, driving it into the upper left corner of the net and setting off the black and gold celebration amid the raindrops. For Kasper, it was his second goal of the season.
The Yellowjackets outshot St. Scholastica 25-17 and held an edge in shots on goal of 10-6. Logan George (Ramsey, Minn.) led the Yellowjackets with six shots attempted. With the six-save shutout, Elder improved his record to 6-2 on the year. The shutout was his third. Sam Reed made nine saves and took the loss for the Saints.
Andrew Jenkins had three of the Saints' six shots on goal.
The Yellowjackets (9-4, 2-2 WIAC) will be on the road for the weekend. On Saturday, October 15, they will play a non-conference match against Chapman University at UW-Whitewater's Fiskum Field. Play begins at 12:00 p.m. Then on Sunday, October 16, the Yellowjackets will get their second try of the year against UW-Whitewater, with play getting underway at 2:00 p.m.