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ISSUE 119 VOL 7 PUBLISHED 11/4/2005

Soccer reflects on season

By David Henke
Contributing Writer

Friday, November 4, 2005

The St. Olaf women’s and men’s soccer teams wrapped up their seasons on Saturday with matches against Carleton College.

Liz Tanner ’07 and Jess Magnuson ’09 scored early to give the Oles a 2-0 lead, which they maintained for the duration of the game, while goalkeeper Emily Rolfsmeyer ‘07 stonewalled the Carleton offense, making three saves and tallying her fifth shut-out of the season.

The women’s team finished its season 5-6-0 in MIAC play and 7-9-1 overall.

Kurt Anderson, head coach of both the women’s and men’s squads, was upbeat despite his team’s losing record.

“It’s a great group of kids, and they work hard,” Anderson said.

The 2005 soccer season had its highs and lows for the Ole women; they lost six straight games early in the season, but won six out of their last nine games. “The girls rounded out the last half of their season with good matches,” Anderson said.

“There were some ups and downs,” Chelsea Gordon ’06 said. “We started out not doing as well as we expected, but we had a turnaround. We just didn’t finish where we hoped to, unfortunately.”

Despite a mediocre season, optimism is running high in the Ole camp. “We played a couple different systems, which was a little bit of an adjustment, but towards the end of the season we were improving in all parts of the field,” midfielder Jenny Weitzig ‘08 said.

Magnuson agreed. “When we did start to win it seemed like everything was clicking. We really pulled it together towards the middle of the season,” she said.

The 2005 season was not without its highlights for the Ole women. Their 5-0 victory over St. Catherine’s and their four-game winning streak near the end of the season were huge confidence boosters for the team.

Hennessy Wadell ‘08 attributed their victories to good communication and solid teamwork.

“We learned how to read each other and play as a team,” she said. “When we went 5-0 against St. Kate’s we walked on the field and we had it, and we kept it for the entire game.”

“We have some incredible talents on the team,” defender Karen Thiebes ‘08 said. “We played a lot more comfortably towards the end of the season.”

The St. Olaf men’s soccer team, which lost 1-0 to Carleton on Saturday, finished its season 4-5-1 in the MIAC, and 6-10-1 overall. The Oles' 2005 season was plagued by injuries. Senior midfielders Grant Collins and Ryan Franz both suffered foot injuries, and Mike Peabody ‘07 was lost to injury before the season even began.

“We had quite a few expectations after last season, but player injuries hurt the continuity of our team,” Anderson remarked. “In spite of the injuries, the kids hung together and played strong.”

Like their counterparts on the women’s team, the men are optimistic about next season.

“We didn’t do as well as we could’ve hoped, but we still progressed through the year – even though the record doesn’t show it,” midfielder Mark Zietlow ‘09 said.

Despite the disappointing season, Anderson and the team have enjoyed their time on the field. “It’s always fun to be together working out,” Anderson said. “We have a great core of kids.”

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