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ISSUE 121 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 11/2/2007

Women finish strong

By Barrett Kennedy
Sports Editor

Friday, November 2, 2007

At quite literally the very end of the women's soccer season, the Oles finally caught an unexpected break in their favor. Senior captain Karen Thiebes redirected a corner kick from Abigail Ho '11 that ricocheted off a Carleton defender and into the net in the closing seconds of Saturday's 1-0 home victory.

Thiebes felt the women deserved this type of win to close out the season. "We've had many frustrating games this year where we have outplayed teams and lost," Thiebes said. "It felt fantastic to knock our rivals out of the playoffs and win the last game of our season."

The only goal of the match, scored with just two seconds remaining in regulation time, effectively knocked the Knights out of the MIAC playoff tournament. Carleton entered Saturday's match on a nine game winning streak and could have clinched a playoff berth with a win or a tie against the Oles. Instead, the Knights finished the season in fifth place, one point shy of advancing to postseason play.

The box score statistics for the match seems incorrect, but in fact St. Olaf was outshot 15-0. "Carleton had possession of the ball for the majority of the game," Thiebes said, "But our team defended well and it just so happened that we took advantage of a good scoring opportunity."

"We defended very well as a team and our goalkeepers made some great saves to keep them scoreless," head coach Jeremy Driver added. "Carleton is a great team ... and obviously getting a positive result over one of your rivals is always more exciting."

The stingy St. Olaf defense was anchored by a first-year goalkeeper tandem. Beth Huggins '11 started the match and made five first half saves. Samantha Sickbert '11 entered the game at halftime and posted three saves of her own in the second half to preserve the shutout victory.

The victory boosted St. Olaf's MIAC record to 3-6-2, landing the squad tied for eighth place with Hamline. Saturday's win also closed out the season on a positive upswing.

"We felt that we have played well in a lot of games this year, but never came out on top," said K.C. Beed '11, St. Olaf's leading scorer on the season. "It was awesome to finally get a win against a good opponent and send the seniors out with a great memory."

"It will give our younger players momentum going into the off-season to work hard and improve for the 2008 season," Driver added.

Along with Thiebes, who started all 18 matches for the Oles, St. Olaf will graduate the talents of Jenny Wetzig, Kira Price and Jess Nash. Beed and her fellow first-years look to combine with returners Jenny Kallas '09, Jess Magnuson '09 and Liz Brustad '10 to fill the leadership roles on next year's squad.

"I think everyone has high expectations for next season," Beed said. "We all are willing to put in the work necessary to improve and be a power in the MIAC next season."

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