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Ole men strike early, win MIAC opener

Nick Hoelmer
September 18, 2013

NORTHFIELD, Minn. - The St. Olaf men's soccer team scored early and often Wednesday afternoon, netting three goals within the first 15 minutes of play en route to a 4-2 defeat of Bethel University at Rolf Mellby Field.

In a chippy game that featured four fouls in the the first half, St. Olaf dominated possession of the ball early on and took advantage to score four first half goals.

The first came in the third minute off a header from senior Mackenzie Lund. Lund took a pass from Kevin Skrip in midair and Lund's shot hit the right goalpost before dropping into the net for his second goal of the young season.

Three minutes later, Skrip chipped a ball over Bethel goalkeeper AJ Syler's head to score off of an assist from David Rosenthal. The goal was Skrip's sixth of the season and gave him his 13th point.

Eight minutes later, Nick Lund crushed a shot from the left side of the field off a pass from his brother Mackenzie that made it past Syler's diving save attempt to make it 3-0.

"We've been doing a good job coming out hot for games," said St. Olaf senior midfielder Jake Stark.

Despite being down three goals, the Royals continued to fight. In the 24th minute, Matthew Pisarski found the open field and scored BU's only goal of the first half.

St. Olaf wasn't done yet, however, and with two minutes remaining in the first half, Aaron Stets sent a gorgeous pass to a wide open Stephen Johnson to send the Oles into halftime with a three-goal lead.

Bethel looked much more alive to start the second half but couldn't match St. Olaf's first half effort. The Royals managed a second half goal to cut the Ole lead to two.

"At times, we let down on energy for a bit, but it was great to open up conference play with a win," Stark said. "Hopefully we can keep this momentum going for Saint John's on Saturday."

St. Olaf (5-1-0, 1-0-0 MIAC) will travel to Collegeville, Minn. on Saturday for a 1 p.m. game against Saint John's (3-3-1, 1-0 MIAC).

Contact media relations specialist Mike Ludwig at (507) 786-3834 or ludwigm@stolaf.edu.