The Carleton College men’s soccer team extended its own MIAC record by clinching a 12th consecutive trip to the MIAC Playoffs after battling back from an early to knock off Bethel University, 2-1, on Saturday. The victory extended the Knights’ (12-1-2, 5-1-2 MIAC) unbeaten streak to 11 matches.
David Rubin (So./Ann Arbor, Mich./Greenhills) and Mark Roth (Sr./Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) scored the goals for Carleton, with William Lanzillo (Sr./Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) credited with assists on both tallies.
The Knights dominated when it came to producing chances, outshooting the Royals (4-11-0, 1-7-0 MIAC) by a 16-5 margin, as well as taking four corner kicks to Bethel’s one. The Royals countered with a physical approach, racking up a total of four yellow cards throughout the match.
Despite the disparity in opportunities Bethel struck first in the fifth minute when Tony Woodley rifled a shot home off a loose ball in the box. In doing so, he ended a Carleton stretch of five straight shutouts, dating back to September 29 against Concordia College. The Knights quickly responded in the 17th minute when Lanzillo struck a low cross into the box from the right side, and Rubin coolly redirected it into the left corner of the net for the first goal of his career. Neither side was able to score again in the opening half, and the squads went into intermission knotted at a goal apiece.
Throughout the second half, Carleton continued to control possession, taking nearly three times as many shots as the home team, yet as time wound down the Knights were staring at a draw that might cost them dearly in playoff seeding.
In this time of need, Carleton’s seniors came through with Lanzillo linking up a with charging Roth, who blasted a shot in over the keeper’s gloves to give the Knights the winning goal. This was Roth’s fourth goal of his career and the third game-winner this season for the senior defender.
With the three points in hand, Carleton has officially clinched a spot in the MIAC Playoffs and is currently tied for third place with two matches remaining in the regular season. [NOTE: The next-longest streak in MIAC history is six straight trips to the conference tournament, achieved by Gustavus (2003-08) and Saint John’s (2012-present).