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ISSUE 118 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/15/2004

Soccer shutout

By Joel Stjernholm
Contributing Writer


Friday, October 15, 2004

Lacking offensive potency against MIAC opponent Macalester, the St. Olaf women's soccer team fell 2-0 to the Scots Sunday in St. Paul. The loss drops St. Olaf's conference record to 2-4, with a 6-5 overall mark. St. Olaf fell into a seventh place tie with St. Mary's and St. Kate's in conference standings, while undefeated Macalester solidified its position atop the MIAC ranks.

Macalester's solid defense held the Oles scoreless for the entire match, though the Oles are not the first team to get blanked by Macalester. The Scots have shut out their opponents in five of their last six games, four of which were played against MIAC opponents.

Despite the loss, several aspects of the St. Olaf team's play were solid. The Ole defense held the Scots' potent offense to just two goals, effectively containing the MIAC's most aggressive scoring unit. This is especially impressive considering the Scots' average over three goals per game. Sunday's match is a good indicator that the Oles defensive scheme and personnel are a force to be reckoned with in the MIAC.

"We played really good defense against Macalester," said midfielder Amy Odland '07, who saw playing time against the Scots. Macalester has a really good offense.

The women's soccer team has faced many of their toughest conference opponents early this season. In addition to top-ranked Macalester, the Oles have already played matches against second-ranked Concordia and fourth-ranked St. Thomas. As the Oles round out their conference season, they look to hone their skills against less-formidable MIAC opponents.

"The first part of our schedule was really tough," Odland said. We have already played the toughest teams in the MIAC. We should have a few good chances to improve our record and get better in our upcoming games.

In addition to having played a difficult early-season schedule, the Oles have a very young squad for the 2004 season. Twelve of the team's 20 varsity members are sophomores or first-year students. Given the pace and level of college soccer, it is often difficult for younger players to have an immediate, significant impact.

However, the Ole women are adapting well to varsity play. Once acclimated to collegiate competition, the team will be a legitimate MIAC contender.

In light of recent improvements, the Oles look forward to taking on future MIAC competitors. St. Olaf will play St. Mary's on Oct. 19 in Winona Minn., followed by a trip to California to play CSU-Hayward and UC-Santa Cruz.





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