Knights top Oles in MIAC semifinal
November 7, 2013
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - For the second time in less than a week, the St. Olaf and Carleton men's soccer teams faced off at Rolf Mellby Field. However, it was the Knights that came out on top on Thursday afternoon as they defeated the Oles 1-0 in a MIAC semifinal rivalry match-up.
With temperatures in the mid-30s and the field soggy from a full season of play, conditions were less than ideal for both teams and players from both squads frequently found themselves on the ground due to the recent snow that made for a slippery field.
St. Olaf seemed to be in control early when senior forward David Rosenthal barely missed a goal wide right after breaking away in the first minute of the game. St. Olaf also received three corner kicks in the first 15 minutes of play that it was not able to convert. For the rest of the half, it was Carleton who dictated possession, but Ben Bramen made multiple highlight worthy saves to keep the game scoreless going into halftime.
"I thought Ben did a fantastic job," said St. Olaf senior midfielder Paul Benz. "He made some great saves that kept us in the game."
Carleton continued to push forward as the second half began and in the 51st minute, the Knight's Branden McGarrity was able to beat multiple St. Olaf defenders and convert off a pass from teammate Sam Hayward. The goal was McGarrity's 11th of the season.
"Carleton played well today," said Benz. "They were probably pretty mad about last Saturday and used that to their advantage."
St. Olaf did manage to apply pressure to the Carleton defense in the final ten minutes of the game but Carleton was able to clog the middle of the field and use their height advantage to control balls in the air and keep shots on goal to a minimum. The Oles were limited to three shots on goal compared with the Knights' nine.
With the loss, St. Olaf falls to 14-4-1 overall and will have to wait a few days as the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Selection Committee decides its NCAA Tournament fate. The Oles still could receive an at-large bid when the field is announced Monday at noon during a selection show on NCAA.com.