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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men’s Soccer still unbeaten in the MIAC

<ccer team stretched their unbeaten run to nine games this week, including a 2-0 victory over Hamline University and a fantastic five goal shutout versus Ripon College on Senior Day. With the non-conference schedule now over, the Knights face three pivotal MIAC games that will determine whether they can reclaim the MIAC championship and maintain home-field advantage throughout the MIAC playoffs.

After a scoreless first half against Hamline, the Knights continued to press until the 83rd minute, when Will Corcoran ‘14, who crossed the ball to Miles Silbert ’12. Silbert’s finish handed the Knights a deserved lead.
Six minutes later, the Knights doubled their lead when a give-and-go between Cammarota and Wills led to Cammarota’s third goal of the season. Carleton almost scored a third goal soon after, but Will Corcoran’s shot smashed off the crossbar, denying Corcoran his fourth goal of the season.

Perhaps the Knights’ second-half rally was inspired by Schiller, who made an appearance shortly after halftime. With a large parent-filled crowd looking on, four Schiller-bearing “Guardians” headed to the far side of the field. Once exposed, the Guardians fled past the tennis courts to the Arboretum, three by  bike and one on foot. Few students chased after the storied bust, perhaps impeded by the action-filled field and the presence of their parents.

In addition to the win, the match was a highlight for Wills, whose two assists and goal last Wednesday earned him his second 2011 MIAC Player of the Week award. Carleton has now had three consecutive MIAC Players of the Week, with Simon Ginet ’14 earning the award last week for his goal against Augsburg and his three assists against Northwestern College.

Tuesday’s match against Ripon saw the Knights come out flying, scoring almost immediately when a cross from Brian Rhodes ’13 deflected to Wills and then Silbert, who smashed his shot home to put the Knights ahead. Two goals soon followed, as Corcoran scored off of a feed from Wills and Ginet scored off of a nice pass from Alex Vorhees ‘13.

The second half continued the offensive barrage, with Silbert scoring off of Cammarota’s through ball. The goal, his seventh of the year, leaves him tied with Wills fas the Knights’ leading scorer. Carleton added a fifth goal in the 77th minute, as Shant Douzdijan ’15 fired home off of a ball from Patrick Mayeda ’15.
The game marked the final regular season home game for the team’s four seniors: Silbert, Cammarota, Wills, and Andrew Thappa. The last class to be involved in the Knights’ magical Sweet Sixteen run in 2008, all four players have brought tremendous skill and leadership during their four years at Carleton.

Despite having most of his senior season cruelly ended by injury, Thappa was a fixture on the wing for the Knights during his career, gracing the field with an unmatched tenacity and a tremendous work rate. His box-to-box mentality and physical style challenged MIAC defenders, many of whom were recipients of a few “accidental” elbows for which Thappa has been noted over the years.

Cammarota has consistently demonstrated his crafty skill and sublime footwork, often leaving MIAC defenders in awe with his ability to maneuver the ball through seemingly-impossible situations.

Cammarota’s beautiful goal against Augsburg helped clinch the 2009 MIAC Championship for the Knights. Over the next few weeks. he will look to rekindle that magic and help the senior class to their third MIAC championship in their four years at Carleton.

Silbert has been a lethal offensive weapon for the Knights, amassing over twenty goals in his outstanding career with his unique combination of speed and strength that often leaves opposing defenders aghast. Silbert’s crucial goals against St. John’s, Macalester, and Concordia this year have greatly helped the team in its pursuit of an undefeated MIAC season, a feat that has eluded the Knights since 2007.

Finally, there is Wills, whose 32 goals, 32 assists, and 96 points have characterized his four illustrious years at Carleton. Wills’s fluid play and magnetic touch have been integral in Carleton’s offensive attack for the last four years. A gentleman on and off the field, Wills has provided important leadership for the team. Although he is quick to credit his success to his teammates’ hard work, he will go down in history as one of the best players ever to go through the Men’s soccer program.

The Knights continue their quest for the MIAC championship this week, traveling to Bethel University for a 2:30 p.m. match on Saturday. In what is sure to be a hard-fought and physical game, the Knights will then travel to the University of St. Thomas next Tuesday. The match begins at 3:30 p.m.

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