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ISSUE 118 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 10/1/2004

Mens soccer tops Tommies

By Anna Harrison
Contributing Writer
and Julia Midthun
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 1, 2004

The Oles battled St. Thomas last Saturday in St. Paul, coming out on top 2-1.

Despite intense action early in the match, neither team scored during the first 30 minutes of play. The Tommies delivered the first offensive strike with a goal from Davis Erickson. St. Olaf responded with a sharp goal from Erik Halaas 07 assisted by Faiz Abdirahman 06 minutes later. Abu Farah 07 sealed the victory in the 39th minute with a goal assisted by Mike Peabody 07.

The Ole defense held strong after their initial let-up, preventing St. Thomas from tying the score. Goalie Kyle Trimble 05 earned six saves on 13 shots attempted by St. Thomas. St. Thomas has yet to win a game on their home field.

The Oles strong defense against the Tommies can be attributed to their newly implemented defensive scheme, which was a question mark at the beginning of the season. However, having allowed only two goals in three conference matches, the Ole defense is proving to be a stingy group.

The St. Olaf mens soccer team is a contender in the MIAC, currently sharing first place honors with Gustavus. Each team has five points and records of 2-0-1 in the conference. St. Olaf fought Gustavus to a draw earlier this season, and the two teams look to pursue a contentious rivalry as the season progresses. Macalester has also earned five conference points, though they have lost a conference match. Carleton is in fourth place with four points, followed by Augsburg with three points.

The Oles hope to hold first place honors in the MIAC as the season continues. As is the case in nearly all sports, the MIAC is one of the most competitive Division III soccer conferences in the nation, and competition for first place honors will surely be fierce.

The Oles have counted on solid performances by all team members to achieve their success thus far this season, though Farah has stood out. Farah scored a game-winning goal against St. Thomas recently and did so against Concordia last week as well.

Named MIAC mens soccer player of the week, Farahs soccer talent has been recognized conference-wide. Farah has three goals and two assists on the season, and leads the MIAC in game winning goals. Other teams take Farah into account in their defensive schemes in an effort to reduce his offensive potency. However, such a defensive scheme permits other Oles greater scoring opportunities.

As expected, younger, inexperienced players have been more aggressive as they have settled into starting and contributing roles. The Oles are very deep, offering a wealth of talent from which head coach Kurt Anderson can draw his varsity team. Competition for starting spots has only made the Oles stronger, however, as is evidenced by their outstanding record.

St. Olafs title aspirations took a hit on Sept. 28 when Bethel pulled off a 2-1 upset win. After an unassisted goal by Mike Peabody 07 tied the game at 1 in the 65th minute, the Royals went back on top less than 10 minutes later and hung on for the victory.

The Oles next host St. Johns Saturday at 1 p.m.

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