The Oles were outshot 17-4 in their game against Gustavus. "It was a close game--a good first conference game," Scott Crider '10 said. "As well as we were doing possessing the ball and moving it around, we just couldn't finish it when we got close to the goal. We've just got to be patient."
The St. Olaf men are 2-4 on the season so far, and their record is a testament to the tough pre-conference schedule they've kept.
"It's been a baptism by fire so far," Crider said.
Fortunately, the team's rigorous schedule is beginning to pay dividends. On Saturday the Olaf men broke their three-game losing streak and shut out Saint Mary'sa MIAC opponent in a hail of offensive firepower.
The Oles' first goal came in the 19th minute when forward Nathan Swenson '10 powered through the Saint Mary's defense and volleyed a shot into the net. 30 minutes later Bobby Anderson '08 followed suit, scoring a goal off a corner kick. In the 63rd minute, John Zietlow hammered the nail into the Saint Mary's coffin, flicking a third goal into the back of the net.
St. Olaf had 26 shots against Saint Mary's 6, with Anderson, Swenson, John Zietlow, and Barrett Kennedy '09 all tallying 3 shots apiece.
The St. Olaf men saw a definite improvement over the course of the two games. "We controlled the midfield and had a lot better ball possession," midfielder Mark Zietlow '09 said.
Crider agreed; "I think it's going well. We're trying to get a feel for the formation and play. Once we got our first goal, you could feel that the energy level of the team had gone up."
The men soundly defeated Bethany Lutheran College 4-0 on Wednesday afternoon. Swenson started the scoring for the Oles, netting his second goal of the season.
Matt Yak '11 and Phil Kennedy '10 kept the Oles rolling, each scoring their first goals of the season. John Zietlow wrapped up a dominating St. Olaf performance with his team-leading fourth goal of the season.
St. Olaf won 12 corner kicks in the first half alone, and ended the match with 41 shot attempts.
Bethany Lutheran managed seven shot attempts.
The men's next match is Friday night when they travel to Macalester. Kickoff is set for 7:30.