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Men's soccer wins first ever MIAC playoff title on Rosenthal's goal in second overtime

Michael Abdella
November 5, 2011

NORTHFIELD, Minn.- David Rosenthal's goal with 3:43 left in the second period of overtime clinched St. Olaf's first ever MIAC playoff title, as the Oles defeated cross-town rival Carleton 3-2 Saturday afternoon at Rolf Mellby Field.

With the score knotted at 2-2, Rosenthal gained control of the ball about 30 yards from goal and took a couple touches before unleashing a shot from just outside the box that nestled in the lower left corner of the goal, leaving Carleton goalie James Neher with no chance. The goal was unassisted and was Rosenthal's second of the game and 14th of the year. Not only did his score clinch the title for the Oles but is also the most for St. Olaf since 1999.

The Oles won the MIAC playoffs for the first time in school history. The four-team playoff tournament was first held in 2004.

The first ten minutes of the game saw scoring chances for both teams. One and a half minutes into the game, Kenzie Lund's cross found Rosenthal but the sophomore forward's shot went just wide of the post. A few minutes later, Carleton had a free-kick just outside the box but Ryan Cammarota's shot was blocked by the wall. Rosenthal won a penalty kick ten minutes into the game but his effort was saved by Neher and his shot off the rebound went high.

After both teams settled in a bit, St. Olaf took a 1-0 lead at the 22:08 mark. Nick Lund's initial shot was blocked by a Carleton defender and the rebound fell to David Rosenthal who's shot was saved by Neher. However, the second rebound was lashed home by Dressen for his 10th goal of the year.

Carleton scored twice in the last ten minutes of the first half to enter the break with a 2-1 lead. The Knights tied the score at 1-1 in the 38th minute courtesy of Devin Tomson-Moylan's first goal of the season. Alex Voorhees' floated free-kick was headed back across goal by Neil Bartholomay for Tomson-Moylan who calmly shot past Harry Ullman.

Five minutes later, Carleton took the lead through senior Tim Wills, who scored for the second straight game. Following a corner kick, the ball came to Wills in the box and he capitalized on the opportunity with his 10th goal of the year to give the Knights the momentum heading into halftime.

Needing a goal, St. Olaf had the bulk of the chances in the second half. In the 55th minute, Rosenthal's shot deflected wide for a corner and Kenzie Lund's header from the corner was saved by Neher. A few minutes later, St. Olaf had another corner kick which resulted in a chance for Carleton to spring a quick counter-attack but Max Lund made a big sliding block to keep the score at 2-1.

In the 66th minute, St. Olaf tied the score at 2-2 on Rosenthal's 13th goal of the season. Blake Dressen was fouled by a Carleton defender about 30 yards from goal in the middle of the field. Rosenthal took the free-kick and floated it between the defensive line and Neher. Neher came off his line to catch the ball but only managed to get a hand to it and the ball ended up in the back of the net.

Nick Lund had a chance to put the Oles ahead 3-2 with 15 minutes to play but his swerving shot drew a good save from Neher to keep the scores level. The best chance in the last ten minutes was when Kenzie Lund's cross-field ball found Rosenthal. Rosenthal tried to beat Neher at his near post but the Knights goalie was equal to the task. Neher made six saves for the Knights.

There were few clear-cut chances for either team in the first overtime period. Rosenthal shot a free-kick over from a similar position as his goal less than a minute into the first extra session. With 24 seconds left in the first period of OT, Jordan Cammarota's fierce shot from inside the box was well-saved by Harry Ullmann. Ullmann made three saves for the Oles in the game.

Neither team mustered a scoring opportunity in the second period of overtime either until Rosenthal's heriocs clinched the title for the Oles. The win was St. Olaf's second in a week against Carleton, as the Oles defeated the Knights 3-1 last Saturday to clinch a share of the MIAC regular-season title and the top seed for the playoffs. The regular season title was St. Olaf's fifth and first since 2004.

For the game, St. Olaf outshot Carleton 16-5, including a 6-1 edge in the overtime periods. Rosenthal led the Oles with seven shots and had five on goal. Five players had one shot apiece for Carleton.

St. Olaf is now 16-0-1 when scoring at least one goal.

With the win, St. Olaf (16-3-1, 7-2-1) clinches the MIAC's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III tournament. It has yet to be determined who the Oles will play and where that game will be played. Carleton (12-6-2, 7-2-1) will need to get an at-large berth to be included in the NCAA tournament field. St. Olaf's 16 wins so far this year are the team's most since the 1999 team went 17-2-1.

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