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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Women’s Soccer outlasts St. Ben’s in double OT, takes over MIAC lead

<ch new game comes a new challenge, and this past Saturday, the Carleton Women’s Soccer team once again passed the test. Working one goal behind from the fifth minute, the Knights were able to equalize in the second half and hammer home a victory against the College of St. Benedict late into double overtime.With Concordia losing, the Knights now stand alone atop the MIAC.

It was a blustery day on Bell Field and the Knights were caught off guard early when a Blazer midfielder took aim from just 15 yards past the midfield line. The shot caught the wind and sailed into the netting, putting Carleton at an early deficit. The Knights continued to battle against a somewhat unfamiliar three center midfielder configuration, and after 45 minutes they had yet to convert a goal scoring opportunity.
The team had a serious discussion at the half, talking out areas of concern and potential changes in attacking strategy.

Experienced defender Leigh-Anne Borkowski ’11 commanded her team’s attention, stating “We all know what we need to do, so let’s step up the challenge and get it done!”

Leading by example in the second half, Borkowski weaved her way through several St. Benedict defenders and fired in a shot from outside the 18-yard box just past the extended arms of the keeper. It was Borkowski’s third goal in three games and put the Knights back on the board at a critical point in the match.

But Carleton was not satisfied to end in a draw. The Knights kept on the offensive, working to expose the gaps in the Blazers formation and were able to rack up 12 second-half shots. As the clock wound down, the opposing keeper was forced to come up with eight more saves and the Blazers were barely able to fend off the Knight’s attack for the full 90 minutes.

The two sides were then required to face off in two ten minute, sudden death overtime periods. With the momentum on their side, the Knights maintained their intensity as forward Niki Tomita ’12 narrowly missed a header in the 98th minute.

In the final ten minutes, the referee called a St. Benedict’s defender for a foul several yards out from the penalty area. Playing to win, The Knights sent many of their ranks forward in an attempt to get on the end of the upcoming free kick. Central midfielder Sarah Hagerty ’13 served a dangerous ball that curved into the top of the 6-yard box where a swarm of Carleton players waited anxiously. After a suspenseful scramble of bodies in front of the goal, the ball found it’s way to the back of the Blazers net and the game was over!

Instant celebrations began as the Knights’ bench stormed the field. Nobody was quite sure who got final touch as it was truly a team effort to finish the ball. Credit was eventually given to Liz Arakaki ’11 who definitely contributed her share in the jostling.

This important “come from behind” victory extends Carleton’s winning streak to 6 games as they maintain an undefeated record at home. Next up on the schedule, the Knights will take their show on the road for three consecutive away matches as they look to continue playing their beautiful game in foreign territory.

-Erin Wilson is a member of the Carleton women’s soccer team.

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