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ISSUE 117 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/31/2003

Men dominate Auggies, advance to playoffs

By Julie Gunderson
Sports Editor

Friday, October 31, 2003

Playing in a cold, driving wind, the St. Olaf men's soccer team stopped a three-game losing skid by beating the 0-8 Auggies 4-2 on Tuesday afternoon. The victory moves the Oles into one of the top four spots in the MIAC rankings.

"It was a cold evening to be out competing," forward Faiz Abdirahman ‘06 said. "But that didn't stop us."

The adverse playing conditions didn't slow down the Oles’ leading scorer, as Abdirahman turned in a three-goal performance.

In a game the Oles had to win, Abdirahman made sure that they would by striking quickly, scoring his first goal in the opening five minutes.

"It was a must-win game for us in order to make the postseason conference tournament," Chris Gangl '04 said.

The Oles, well aware of the game’s implications, saw Augsburg tie up the game late in the first half. The teams entered the locker room in a 1-1 tie.

Abdirahman however came through once again when the Oles needed him, scoring off a penalty kick in the second half. The Oles were awarded the penalty after forward Mustafa Dualeh '06 was taken down in the penalty box. Abdirahman completed his hat trick by scoring on a breakaway with an assist from team captain Eric Steege '04.

The Oles’ fourth goal came from junior midfielder Trevor Davies off a long ball given by Gangl.

Augsburg would score once more in the closing minutes of the game.

"We dominated the game," Abdirahman said. "We came out and played hard and played solid defense throughout the game."

The win came on the heels of three consecutive losses for the Oles. The tough stretch began Oct. 18 when the Oles lost 1-2 at St. John's and then suffered two 0-2 defeats to Wheaton and Concordia losing both contests on the road.

The Oles have one remaining game on their schedule. They will host Carleton on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., and then prepare for the MIAC conference playoffs.

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