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ISSUE 119 VOL 1 PUBLISHED 9/16/2005

Stellar start for women

By Reed Favero
Contributing Writer
and Tony Olson
Contributing Writer

Friday, September 16, 2005

After posting a stellar 12-6-1 overall record last fall, the St. Olaf women’s soccer team is poised to take the next step in the intense MIAC competition this season. The women, who return a solid core from a year ago, should contend for a conference title this season.

The team is lead by seniors Chelsea Gordon, Kaia Knutson (All-Conference in ‘04), Erica Gruner, and Siobahn Ohm. Also returning are juniors Kelsey Watt (All-Conference ’04) and Katie Bierlein (All-Conference Honorable Mention ‘04). The Oles also have new talent in first-year players Jenny Kallas, Kristin Kooman, and Jess Magnuson.

The Oles kicked off their season on September 1 at Luther College. Midfielder Bierlein lit up the scoreboard for the first time this season with an unassisted goal roughly 38 minutes into the match. Forward Kelsey Watt contributed to the point total with another score 14 minutes into the second half on a superb pass from Hennessey Wadell ‘08. Watt scored again before the last horn sounded to make the final score 3-0.

The Ole defensive corps also made some key contributions to the win, amassing a strong front against the attacking Knights. The Oles allowed only five shots on goal, all of which were stopped by keeper Emily Rolfsmeyer ‘06.

The day after defeating Luther, the Oles took on UW-Stout, playing the Bluedevils in a 2-2 double-overtime stalemate. In the first half of the hard-fought contest, Knutson dropped a dime to Bierlein, giving St. Olaf a 1-0 lead.

Stout struck back with two goals as the game progressed. In the 78th minute, however, Magnuson knotted the score at two apiece. The Oles continued to play hard throughout the second half but to no avail. In the following two extra periods, both teams went scoreless and left the field with a final score of 2-2.

On September 7th, the Oles traveled to River Falls, Wis., and played a defense-dominated duel against UW-River Falls. The game featured a combined 13 shots on goal, with the only goal coming early in the second half by the Falcons’ Kelly Piersak. St. Olaf was unable to answer to the Falcons’ score.

St. Olaf continued its tour of Wisconsin schools with a trip to UW-Oshkosh, where they played another close game. Once again, both defensive squads pushed hard without allowing goals during regulation. Despite an outstanding, 19-save performance by Rolsfmeyer, UW-Oshkosh’s Maggie Hoffman eventually scored the game-winning shot in the second overtime.

The Oles will next take on St. Benedict’s at 4:30 this Friday at home.

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