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ISSUE 118 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/22/2004

Men roll over Cardinals

By Joel Stjernholm
Sports Editor

Friday, October 22, 2004

The St. Olaf mens soccer team regained a share of the MIAC lead with a 4-1 shellacking of hapless St. Marys Wednesday.

Abu Farah 07, Faiz Abdirahman 06, Noah Hallbach 07 and Mustafa Dualeh 06 tallied goals for the Oles and Tom Daymont 06 contributed two assists.

The win leaves the Oles with a conference record of 6-1-1, leaving them dead-locked with Gustavus atop the MIAC standings.

The mens success is a tribute to their solid work ethic. While it is often said that a team is more than the sum of its parts, it is also true that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. MIAC competition, stiff as ever, has proved that the St. Olaf mens soccer team has few, if any, weak links.

Most players maintained rigorous off-season workout schedules, and many practice juggling and ball-handling skills individually for hours after practice.

In addition to soccer-specific skills, most team members complete weight lifting and running programs on a regular basis. The individual work has paid off; the team is a fearsome contender for the MIAC title.

While the soccer team is extraordinarily deep this season, and several members of the junior varsity team are challenging for varsity spots, there is no animosity among team members.

The team possesses great camaraderie, a strong indicator of a successful team. Cohesiveness is often overlooked and undervalued on teams full of all-conference candidates. Despite the strength of individual team members, the Oles are playing well together, working as a team toward their ultimate goal of winning a conference championship.

Even with their exceptional depth and talent, much of the mens success this year is attributable to Coach Andersons new defensive scheme. Anderson implemented defensive changes at the beginning of the season, and, after a short adjustment period, the Ole defense has been all but impenetrable. Coach Anderson seems to have paired an exceptional strategy with players gifted enough to execute it, and thus far the results have been stellar.

The men hope to maintain their outstanding performance through the end of the regular season and into post season play. With only three conference matches remaining, the Oles must win every match, but such a streak would hardly be a stretch for this seasons crew.

The Oles travels to Minneapolis for its next conference match on Oct. 26 against Augsburg. The match begins under the lights at 7:30 p.m.

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