The men prepared for this game in usual fashion, Dave Pelka 03 explained, by blasting our jambox in the locker room. It helps us get focused and stay relaxed. The biggest difference between this game and others the Oles play was the field surface. The Augsburg soccer field is made of astroturf, not the usual grass. Pelka and Thelen agree that this makes the game more difficult because the game is a lot faster. While grass absorbs much of the balls energy, slowing it down, playing on astroturf is like playing on carpet, which absorbs almost no energy. This makes the ball bounce higher and travel at a higher speed. Astoturf also requires more passing accuracy; if the ball is not aimed accurately, the balls speed makes it almost impossible to catch before it goes out of bounds. Also, Pelka noted it is more difficult to settle the ball with an astroturf field. The Oles, however, did not let these obstacles affect their performance. Pelka thought everyone worked extremely well together on Tuesday. We capitalized on their weaknesses and secured another St. Olaf victory. A current topic of debate in the Conference is the absence of an end-of-season MIAC tournament. While most sports have a MIAC tournament, the mens soccer has lacked one in the recent past and will not have one this season, either.
Instead of having a separate tournament tacked on at the end of the regular season, the MIAC Champion team is determined by game performances throughout the season. The team with the best season record is named champion. Currently, the Oles are ranked fifth overall. Gustavus Adolphus College is undefeated in the MIAC and Macalester has only lost one game. The University of St. Thomas and St. Johns University are ranked third and fourth, respectively. Overall, Pelka and Thelen are both happy with the teams performance this fall. Thelen said the team has had some close games that definitely couldve been won, but our depth this year is unbelievable. Were having a great season. This Saturday the team takes on the Carls for their final game of the season.