Ellie Wilson’s ‘15 goal in the eighth minute gave the Knights the early advantage, and the momentum from the tally was backed up by solid play along the defensive wall to help the Carleton College women’s soccer team secure a 2-0 victory over previously unbeaten and No. 25-ranked Augsburg College.
“Augsburg is very dangerous on the attack. Today, I believe we shut that attack down, including their most dangerous players,” said Knights head coach Jocelyn Keller. “The women were able to put away the ball because we were focused and ready to play from Thursday’s practice to pre-game warm up.”
The game-winning tally came in the opening moments of the match, when Caroline Sheffield ‘17 launched a shot from the top of the 18-yard box. Auggies keeper Katie Gajewski was forced to go airborne to tip the ball, but she redirected it off the crossbar. As the ball fell back towards the pitch, Wilson found herself unmarked inside the box and blasted the ball into the net to give Carleton the advantage.
Augsburg attempted to rally, but the attack spearheaded by Olivia Muyres and Carter Dension—the number one and two scorers in the conference, respectively– was stifled by the Knights’ defensive line for much of the match.
The Auggies almost found the net in the 67th minute, when Muyres, playing along the end-line, forced keeper Mikayla Coulombe ‘16 out of the net. Muyres sent a cross that was destined to be buried in the corner by one of her teammates, but defensive back Alexandra Guy ‘15 slid in front of the ball, preserving the lead.
Carleton scored its second goal late in the 85th minute to put the result out of doubt. After the Knights cranked up the pressure by outshooting Augsburg 5-1 over the previous 15 minutes of play, Gajewski found the ball in her hands at the top of the penalty box. As she went to punt it away, Connor Kasch ‘17 stepped in front of her line-drive punt. On her subsequent touch, Kasch lifted the ball over Gajewski and curled it into the left side of the net for her first collegiate tally. Minutes later, the final whistle sounded and the Knights emerged victorious, 2-0.
Coulombe played the full 90 minutes in the net for Carleton, recording five saves en route to her 13th career shutout.
“We have spoken a lot this season about putting together two halves,” said Keller. “We were able to do that today. We played as a team, we took care of our goalkeeper and our backline stepped up and played with tact and accuracy. Connor earned her first collegiate goal with a nice strike and Ellie’s follow on Sheffield’s shot was all about her willingness to get forward. The team wanted to win and—more importantly—wanted to compete.”
Unfortunately for Carleton, they were unable to keep the momentum going later in the week when they traveleed up to Macalester to face the Scots. The Knights suffered a 4-0 setback that leaves them in a three-way tie for fifth place in the MIAC standings, only one point out of the final playoff spot with four regular-season games remaining.
The next match for this squad will be on Saturday, October 19 on the road at Hamline. Last time the Knights matched up against the Pipers, the final result was a 2-1 overtime victory for Hamline. That match, which took place just about a year ago, featured a goal from Carleton midfielder Bailey Ulbricht ‘15, who currently leads the 2013 squad in points with 12, thanks to four goals and four assists so far this season.