Northfield, Minn. -- Nick Feltz (So./West Des Moines, Iowa/West Des Moines Valley) scored in the 27th minute and Ross Mattson (So./St. Paul, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) earned his first shut-out of the year as Carleton defeated St. Thomas 1-0 in the conference opener for both teams.
The Knights (2-3) used an early goal and solid defensive play to hand St. Thomas (3-1-1) its first loss of the year. The Tommies had previously outscored their opponents 19-1 and were coming off a 0-0 draw with the nation's third-ranked team in UW-Oshkosh, but Mattson made three saves in shutting down their high-powered offense.
"I'm extremely proud of our effort today," Carleton coach Bob Carlson said. "We stuck to our game plan and got a big win."
The win marked the first time since Oct. 17, 2001, that the Knights defeated St. Thomas.
Feltz's goal came off a brilliant individual effort, as he collected the ball 45 yards from goal and proceeded to carry all the way into the 18-yard box, where he finally chipped the ball over a sliding Matt Carlson. Carlson, the Tommie goalkeeper, made four saves in suffering his first loss of the season.
Carleton controlled much of the play in the first half, while the Tommies came out strong and pushed towards the Knights' goal in the second half. Solid defense by Carleton's backline, especially from outside defenders Kurt Bunnelle (Jr./Mundelien, Ill.) and Peter Grassman (Fy./Evanston, Ill.), stopped St. Thomas from having any dangerous chances on goal, as it was counter-attacking from the Knights that provided most of the excitement in the second half.
First-year Thomas Ashton (Los Altos, Calif./Bellarmine College Prep) beat Carlson but fired just wide of net in the 46th minute, while David Watson (Jr./Woodbury. Minn.) hit the post with a great shot from 18 yards out in the 87th minute.
"I thought Dave, Joe, and Peter played especially well, and of course Nick too." Carlson said. "But ultimately, it was a total team effort."
Carleton's next game will be at St. John's University on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m.