NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s soccer team was left on the outside looking in when the final invitations to the 2011 NCAA Championships were handed out. The Knights did not receive one of the 19 at-large berths to the 61-team national tournament.
“We’re really disappointed that we didn’t move on, but we have a lot to be proud of,” said Carleton head coach Bob Carlson. “We had a great year. We won another championship and this doesn’t diminish that. We were three minutes away from getting to PKs against St. Olaf, and that would’ve helped our chances.”
The Knights (12-6-2, 7-2-1 MIAC) won at least a share of the MIAC regular-season title for the fourth time in five years. The team tied for second the other time during this run. This year was the third time in the last four seasons that the Knights advanced to the MIAC Championship. Three of Carleton’s six losses came to teams in the NCAA field.
Seniors Ryan Cammarota (Neenah, Wis.), Miles Silbert (St. Louis Park, Minn.), Andrew Thappa (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic), and Tim Wills (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic) conclude their career with a 55-20-6 (.716) ledger, the second-highest win total in school history. Over their four years, the Knights possessed a 30-7-3 (.788) record in MIAC play.
“Those guys epitomize what Carleton soccer is all about,” said Carlson. “Their hard work and team-first attitude is responsible for the success we’ve had.”
The North Region got four ranked squads into the 61-team field. St. Olaf College (MIAC) and Loras College (IIAC) captured their conference’s automatic qualifiers. UW-Whitewater was a Pool B selection, and Luther College earned the region’s lone Pool C (at-large) bid. Unranked Minnesota-Morris (UMAC) and Carroll University (Midwest) also won their conference's automatic bids.
Carleton was one of a trio of teams—joining Rochester Tech and Swarthmore—that did not receive at-large bids despite having three or more wins against ranked in-region competition. Seven of the programs that were awarded Pool C bids had two or fewer victories against ranked in-region opponents.