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ISSUE 121 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 10/5/2007

Women suffer OT loss

By Barrett Kennedy
Sports Editor

Friday, October 5, 2007

The St. Olaf women's soccer team suffered a tough loss to another nationally ranked opponent on Saturday, falling 1-0 in overtime to St. Benedict. The 22nd-ranked Blazers scored 1:53 into the first overtime period when a swinging corner kick found the right foot of a St. Ben's player near the Oles' net.

With the overtime victory, St. Benedict protected its perfect season, placing them atop the MIAC standings at 5-0 and 10-0 overall. The win also gave the Blazers' sophomore goalkeeper, Shannon Strohm, her sixth consecutive shutout.

The St. Benedict match marked the fourth time the Oles have played a nationally ranked opponent this season.

"We currently have played the fourth most difficult schedule in the region," said Head Coach Jeremy Driver. However, the Oles fought hard in the tough loss.

"In the first half, we dominated St. Ben's in possession and in creating [goal scoring] opportunities," said Karen Thiebes '08, senior captain and midfielder. Thiebes led the Oles with three shots in the match. Jenny Kallas '09 and Jess Magnuson '09 each notched two shots of their own, while goalkeeper Elizabeth Huggins '11 made seven saves in net.

Overall the Blazers out-shot the Oles 13-8, and the loss was simply unlucky, according to Thiebes.

Following the St. Benedict game, the women had an extended break between games.

"We are using this week to refocus on finishing the chances we create and continuing to improve on our set-play defending," said Driver. The Oles have scored just two goals during their last five games, accumulating a 0-4-1 record during that span.

"This week of training will set the tone for October," Driver added. The St. Olaf schedule features one more non-conference match on Sunday at UW-Oshkosh, which Driver hopes the team can use as a final opportunity to prepare for the critical second half of the MIAC season. The women currently stand tied for fifth place in the MIAC with a record of 2-3. With six remaining conference challenges, the Oles are still poised to achieve their goal of reaching postseason play, despite the recent win drought.

The Oshkosh match is set for 2 p.m. The women will continue MIAC play Tuesday when they travel to Bethel University.

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