Admitting to a rocky start, Erica Gruner 06 said that "everyone focused to win for the first game in the MIAC." The previous weekend in Wisconsin was a warm up as they struggled through their pre-season, ending it with an overall 1-4-0 record.
In the first half of Saturdays match, Sarah Cornell 05 dominated St. Marys goal area with five shots. At least eight other girls shared the battle in the penalty box winding up with five goals total in the net.
The Oles allowed fewer than five shots in the first half.
"We wanted a shutout and we got a shutout," Gruner said.
With crosses hatching the field, the Oles set the stage for a schooling. Whether the serve came from Kelsey Watt 07 on the left to Cornell in front of the goal, from Liz Tanner 07 to sophomore Kaia Knutsons shot in the center or Watt, sailing to Katie Bierleins 07 powerful shot that hit the crossbar; air was the place to be for the stitched ball.
Off of a cross from a teammate, Kristi Parks 04 pivoted the ball beautifully to Ashley Mark 05 who bounced it into the goal from about two yards.
However, despite the beaming crosses, the Oles attained their other four goals unassisted. Tanner scored first with a shot from "50 yards out," according to the announcer, possibly slightly exaggerating. It flew into the top right corner, only brushing St. Marys keepers hands. Later Tanner scored again unassisted in the second half.
Knutsons goal came from persistence. Watt shot to the goalie who deflected the ball in the right direction for Knutson to stuff the free ball into the goal.
The goal came in the last five seconds of the first half.
"It was a momentum killer and a demoralizing thing because coming back from a three-goal lead is very difficult to do," Anderson said.
The fifth goal came from Amy Odland 07.
With the hole left by five graduated seniors, this years team has been forced to find scoring from its younger members. Carolyn Detjen 03 led the team in scoring last year with 12 goals.
New-comer Knutson, already has two goals as does first-year Tanner. Watt is another fist-year to earn a spot in the starting line.