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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men’s Soccer cruises past rivals Concordia and Macalester

<ite suffering a 1-0 setback last Wednesday against Luther College, the Men’s soccer team responded with two crucial victories in the MIAC, improving their conference record to 3-0. The Knights won 2-1 in a hard-fought game against Concordia last Saturday, and then followed up with a vital 3-1 victory over MIAC rivals Macalester on Wednesday afternoon. The win was redemption for the Knights, as they lost 1-0 in the corresponding fixture last year. The victory over Macalester also ensured that only the Knights and Augsburg are the only teams with an undefeated conference record.

Saturday’s match versus Concordia saw the Knights come out to a flying start, with particular emphasis on pressing the Concordia defenders whenever they received the ball. This relentless offensive pressure paid off in the 16th minute, as a Concordia turnover in the middle of the field allowed Ryan Cammarota ’12 to dribble past multiple Concordia defenders before finding an open Nathan Park ’15. Park blasted his shot past the Concordia goalkeeper for his first ever collegiate goal. The Knights’ inspired play was rewarded once again in the 26th minute, as Cammarota yet again dribbled at the Cobbers’ defense and played in Corcoran. Although Corcoran’s shot was parried by the Concordia goalie, it went directly to Silbert, who slotted his shot into the net to score his third goal of the season. Concordia pulled a goal back in the 43rd minute, as Bobby Spoja ’14 rifled his shot into the top corner of the net from thirty yards out to give Concordia a lifeline going into halftime. The second half was plagued by sloppy play from both sides, but the Knights managed to hang on to their lead and extended their record to 2-0 in conference play.

The sloppy play that marred the second half of the Concordia game was apparent in the first fifteen minutes of the Knights’ anticipated encounter with Macalester, as the slick passing and possession that has become a trademark of the Carleton Men’s soccer program was nowhere to be seen. But the dynamic interplay between Cammarota and Tim Wills ‘12, which has become an integral part of the Knights’ attack over the last four years, worked its magic in the 22nd minute: Cammarota’s through ball found a streaking Wills, who poked the ball past the rushing Scots’ goalkeeper and handed Carleton the lead.

Cammarota was yet again involved in the build up to Carleton’s second goal, sending a driven ball to Corcoran, who was taken out by Macalester goalie Matt Weyer ’12 despite a clear scoring opportunity. After Weyer received a red card, Carleton received a free kick, allowing Cammarota to bend a shot just over the wall and above the diving Macalester goalie.

During the second half, The Knights continued to press and find a third goal, and finally found it in the 61st minute. Brian “Bulldog” Rhodes ’13 played Corcoran, who blew by the Scots’ defense and chipped a ball into the box. Silbert then headed home from close range to give the Knights a commanding 3-0 lead. But Macalester quickly pulled a goal back, albeit controversially, less than a minute later. With Tyler Bechtel ’13 clearly in pain near the top of the box, the Scots continued to attack, rather than kick the ball out of play to allow treatment for the injured Bechtel. A cross into the box eventually found Taylor Rasmussen ’13, who put the ball into the back of the net and gave Macalester a bit of hope going into the final thirty minutes of the match.

Despite being a man down, Macalester was able to possess the ball and managed to get behind the Carleton defense multiple times, but Carleton goalkeeper James Neher ’14 came through with several key saves to ensure that the Knights would end the day undefeated in MIAC play. Macalester defender Paul Lund ’14 was dismissed for receiving a second yellow card with five minutes remaining in the match, leaving the Scots to finish the match with only nine men.

Things continue to get hot and heavy for Carleton over the weekend, as they welcome Gustavus Adolphus College, currently ranked 17th in the nation by the NSCAA, at Bell Field on Saturday. This tantalizing fixture between two of the MIAC’s finest teams is historically known for attacking play and fast-paced action that keeps the crowd on the edge of its seat, so this game is not to be missed. The match begins at 1 pm.
The Knights face Cornell College at 3 pm on Bell Field on Sunday, which follows the women’s team and their match versus Luther College at 1 pm. The Knights conclude this busy stretch of games with another home game versus Northwestern College on Tuesday afternoon at 4 pm.

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