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ISSUE 119 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 9/30/2005

Men hang tough in MIAC

By Ryan Maus
Staff Writer


Friday, September 30, 2005

A year ago, the St. Olaf men's soccer team came out of nowhere to capture a share of their first conference title since 1998. This fall, the team's quest to defend that crown has not gone entirely according to plan.

The Oles outshot non-conference foe Luther 16-8 on Sunday at St. Olaf's Rolf Mellby Field but still managed to fall short against the Norse, losing 1-0. Luther's David Jensen scored the game's only goal with just under 15 minutes remaining.

St. Olaf's season-long offensive woes were evidenced by the fact that the team put six shots on goal during the game's final 12 minutes yet came up empty.

"We just haven't been able to score as consistently as we would like to," head coach Kurt Anderson said. "That's one of the hardest things to do in the game, and it has been tough for us so far this year."

The men's top two leading scorers from last fall, Abu Farah '07 and Faiz Abdirahman '06, are both off to slow starts. Abdirahman has just one goal and three assists through nine games, while Farah has no points this season. The duo accounted for nearly half of the team's goals a year ago.

"Some of our top scorers from last year haven't gotten on the train yet, but they're still very capable," Anderson said.

The Oles have also lost two of last years' key starters due to injuries. Grant Collins '06 suffered a season-ending injury during Sunday's game, while Mike Peabody '07 was lost during the preseason.

The day before falling to Luther, the team made the four-hour journey northward to take on Concordia-Moorhead, capturing a 3-1 victory against the cellar-dwelling Cobbers.

Netting goals were Erik Halaas '07, Mark Zietlow '09 and Jacob Meyer '08, who scored his fourth game-winning goal of the young season with less than five minutes remaining in the game.

Despite the team's up-and-down performance so far, Anderson still has confidence in his squad.

"Overall, we've still played pretty well in most of our games," Anderson said. "I still think we can make a run for the title this year."

Wednesday afternoon, the Oles hosted Bethel in a key matchup of conference foes. St. Olaf scored four unanswered goals to secure a 4-1 victory over the Royals.

The Oles' next conference match-up will be against Gustavus on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in St. Peter, Minn.





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