In a battle between crosstown rivals, the Carleton College men’s soccer team used a counterattack goal from first-year Marco da Cunha (San Francisco, Calif./San Francisco University) to knock off St. Olaf College, 1-0, and stretch the Knights’ unbeaten streak to eight straight contests.
With 10 wins already this year, the Knights have reached double-digit victories for the 12th time in the last 14 campaigns.
In the first half, neither side was able to open the scoring on a windy afternoon. The Knights’ (10-1-1, 3-1-1 MIAC) best look of the period came in the 30th minute. Tarek Bos-Shadi (So./Bradley, Ill./Bradley-Bourbonnais) sprinted past the St. Olaf (3-9-0, 2-5-0 MIAC) back line, however his chip shot carried just over the crossbar.
Carleton goalkeeper Aaron Forman (So./Los Angeles, Calif./Windward) added a sprawling save in the 43rd minute to ensure the scoreboard read 0-0 at the half.
In the second half, da Cunha scored the breakthrough goal in the 68th minute when he made a dazzling run from close to midfield. During the run da Cunha seemed more like a slalom skier, cutting around multiple Ole defenders before firing a shot past the St. Olaf keeper into the lower left corner of the net. In notching the third game-winner of his young career, da Cunha increased his team-leading tally to seven goals, tied for tops among MIAC players this season.
“It was a MIAC battle,” said Forman. “We held our shape under high pressure and got the goal when it counted.” With a curling free kick, Alvin Bierley (So./Santa Cruz, Calif./Leland) almost added an insurance goal a few moments later, however St. Olaf goalkeeper Ben Westermeyer was able to recover and punch the dangerous attempt away.
Overall the Knights pitched another masterful defensive performance, a sight all too familiar for Carleton’s opponents. Spearheaded by Forman’s three saves, the Knights registered their third consecutive shutout, and seventh overall in 12 games.
Carleton will look to continue its hot-streak on Saturday, Oct. 13 when the Knights host Augsburg University at 3:30 p.m. That will be the second half of a women’s-men’s doubleheader, with the women kicking things off at 1:00 p.m. Knights Online will have live stats and video for both contests.