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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Soccer teams primed for decisive Olaf matches: Women top UW-La Crosse before prep week

<st Wednesday night, after a packed Parents’ Weekend, the Carleton women’s soccer team faced the challenge of playing their third game over the span of five days. But after making the two and a half hour trek out to University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, you never would have guessed it.

Embodying their motto, All Day, All (K)night, the Knights demonstrated their ability to perform at any point during the Earth’s revolution, as this game marked only their second competition under stadium lights. The Eagles of La Crosse proved to be an endangered species, as Carleton found the back of their net four times.

Goal number one started and ended with outside back Leigh-Anne Borkowski ’11. Having the amazing capacity to set the tone of the game, the senior defender pulled her classic move, receiving the ball and attacking open space. After committing her defender, she played a through ball wide for outside midfielder Sarah Hagerty ’13. Hagerty dribbled down the sideline and served in a cross to the Eagle 18-yard-box. Borkowski, who had continued her run forward, trapped the ball out of the air and finished it near post.

Less than 10 minutes later, central midfielder Abby Wills ’12 provided an outlet for the Knights’ defense to help advance the ball. Quick to transition, Wills turned upfield and passed wide to classmate Lily VanderStaay ’12. Recognizing that La Crosse’s midfield was stretched out of position, VanderStaay aggressively cut inside and went straight for goal. The junior winger pulled the trigger just outside the 18-yard box and found the lower corner of the frame, putting the Carleton up 2-0.

Rest assured, the Knights continued their dominance into the second half. Twenty minutes in, Wills collected the ball in the Eagles’ defensive third and slotted it to forward Cassie Burke ’12. Burke faked toward the goal line but then turned the opposite direction, hitting a shot from the corner of the 18. The ball was perfectly lofted into the far-post side netting for goal number three of the game and her season.

But Carleton did not stop there, as the opposition could not find a solution to the Knights’ attacks. Forward Linnea Carlson ’12 tracked a through ball down the right sideline as she got in behind the Eagles’ backline. Upon looking up and seeing VanderStaay streaking down field to join the attack, Carlson played her a diagonal ball backwards. With her cannon of a leg, VanderStaay rocketed in a shot that just cleared the bottom of the crossbar and hit the upper netting with authority.

Carleton finished the game leading 4-0, wrapping up a solid string of away games.

“I don’t distinguish much between our home and away games, except that I know that we love playing on Bell,” Head Coach, Karen Gudeman, commented. “I think the team has performed well on the road, in a range of conditions, on a range of field types, and against a range of opponents. In the past three weeks we have built confidence in our ability to play very strong teams at their home turf and still come out on top, in the face of home-field fans and home-field comfort.”

With a current league record of 7-1-1, Carleton has secured its spot in MIAC playoffs. Bad weather forced Wednesday’s match with St. Kate’s to be postponed to last night and moved to the indoor facility at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, the Knights

Tomorrow, the Knights conclude their regular season as they take on cross-town rival St. Olaf College in a 1 p.m. contest at the Oles’ Rolf Mellby Field. Results of this match will have important leader board implications as well as help determine playoff seeds.

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

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