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Women’s soccer advances to MIAC Championship with 3-1 win over St. Olaf

n the semifinal round of the MIAC Playoffs, the Carleton College women’s soccer team experienced a bout of deja vu, earning their second 3-1 home victory against crosstown rival St. Olaf College during the 2022 season. Ths triumph advanced the Knights to the MIAC Playoffs Championship, where No. 1 seed Carleton will face off against No. 3 seed St. Catherine University.

“What a game,” head coach Jessica Mueller said of the contest, “So proud of our team’s resiliency today. As most playoff games go, today’s was very back and forth. At times we had the run of play and at times, St. Olaf had the run of play.

“We gave the ball away way too much in the middle third. Most of their scoring chances were created because we gave them the ball in really dangerous transition areas. We have to clean up our possession and decision-making in that area of the field. Other than that, we defended well overall, and I just love that we have so many attacking threats. We can put different people in the game at different times, and they’ll create and/or score goals. It’s really fun to watch, and it’s fun to coach. This team never, ever quits, and we are always willing to go the distance. On to Saturday!”

Carleton (13-1-3) entered play having compiled an unbeaten 8-0-3 record in conference play, and was 6-0-1 at home. The Oles (10-7-1) had won six of their last seven contests against MIAC opponents, including a first-round triumph against No. 5 Saint Mary’s.

The Knights’ offense, which has been lethal all year, looked to get on the board early and did. In the 15th minute, Cate Patterson ’23 found the ball at her feet about 30 yards outside the box. Patterson took a few touches, evading multiple defenders, and fired a left-footed blast from about 25 yards out that slotted into the lower-right corner of the net.

St. Olaf would not be turned away. In the 38th minute, the ever-dangerous Tessa Anderson was played on a through ball. She took a touch to cut back before shooting a right-footed shot that could only be grazed by the keeper. Anderson’s goal sent the sides into intermission deadlocked, with the Knights holding a slight 7-5 advantage in shots.

The final 45 minutes of action were largely back and forth until about the 73rd minute, when the Knights’ first-round bye began to become a larger advantage. Claire Burbery ’26 had a shot that was blocked, and then in the 77th minute Loren Arzayus ’25 directed a shot that beat the keeper but dinged off the left post. Three minutes later, Kathryn Kresse ’26 had the ball near the endline off of a throw-in, and again found Arzayas in the box, who this time converted her second goal of the season and what would prove to be the game-winner.

Carleton was not done, however, and iced the game on one of the best goals at Bell Field all season. Hadley Twichell ’26 stood over a free kick from 35 yards out, and placed it perfectly between the fingers of the keeper and the crossbar with force for her eighth tally of the season.

Keya Mookencherry ’25 tallied a save and earned her 11th win of the season in net, while Maddie Black stopped seven shots for the visitors.

Up next for the Knights

As the top-seeded team in the conference tournament, Carleton will host the MIAC Playoff Championship game at Bell Field on Saturday, Nov. 5 with a scheduled 1:00 p.m. kickoff. The opponent will be the No. 3 seed St. Catherine, who tied No. 2 seed College of Saint Benedict, 1-1, and advanced by winning the penalty kick shootout (3-2).

The Knights and Wildcats played to a scoreless draw on Oct. 25 in Saint Paul. The winner will receive the MIAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships.

The MIAC admission policy is as follows: $10 for General Admission, $2 for Students with ID, and Free for Children 5 and under.

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