The Men’s soccer team, currently ranked 18th in the nation in the latest NSCAA poll, stretched their unbeaten streak to seven games this weekend, with a draw against MIAC rival Augsburg College on Saturday followed up by a 2-0 win over non-conference foe St. Scholastica on Sunday.
Saturday’s double-overtime stalemate was tightly contested with not many chances for either team, with the draw keeping the Knights and Augsburg tied for third in the conference with ten points each. The exhaustion following a double-overtime game was not apparent against St. Scholastica however, as Neil Bartholomay ’14 and the Knights’ defense shut out the Saints, who were the highest-scoring team among all teams in Division I, II, and III with 61 goals scored this season. Bartholomay, who scored off a corner kick against Augsburg on Saturday, remained effective offensively for the Knights on Sunday, as he glanced a free kick by Alex Voorhees ’13 to score the game-winning goal.
On Saturday, Carleton faced Augsburg in a battle of the MIAC’s third-place teams, as both teams were even with identical 3-1 records in conference play. The first half was back and forth, as the Knights replicated Augsburg’s very direct style of play. The Knights dealt with the Auggies’ aerial attack, but were unable to dictate much of the play and were unable to really test the Augsburg goalie. The stalemate stretched into halftime.
Following the intermission, the Knights began to turn up the offensive pressure on the Augsburg backline and dictate the tempo of the game. In the 58th minute, a header by Ben Walsh ’14 found its way behind the Augsburg defense to an open Simon Ginet ’14, who chipped Augsburg goalie Clayton Lynch ’14. Ginet’s effort looped over Lynch, but smashed against the crossbar, and the rebound came out to Will Corcoran ’14, whose header was deflected aside by an Augsburg defender. From the ensuing corner, Corcoran whipped in a swerving cross and, following multiple ricochets inside the box (including a volley by Ginet that was cleared off the line) Bartholomay got a toe on the ball that found the net, his first goal of the season.
The lead only lasted 19 minutes, however, as Augsburg capitalized on a free kick from outside the box, with Danny Osip ’14 leveling the score at one. Following their equalizer, Augsburg became content with a draw, and were reluctant to chase the go-ahead goal.
The Knights continued to create chances, but the Augsburg defense remained resolute and kept the 1-1 scoreline throughout both overtime periods. The result meant that Carleton and Augsburg were tied for third with 10 points, three points away from second-place Gustavus Adolphus and five points away from St. Thomas, who have five wins in five MIAC matches. The Knights and Auggies have a game in hand on Gustavus, so a win for both sides in their next MIAC match would lead to three way tie for second-place.
The Knights had little time to dwell on the frustrations following the Augsburg match, as the College of St. Scholastica came to Northfield in a non-conference game. The Knights were looking for redemption, as they fell to the Saints last year in a tough, overtime defeat. In addition, they were looking to stop the most prolific offense in collegiate soccer, as the Saints had scored 61 goals coming into Sunday’s contest.
The Knights, however, were sixth in the country with 34 total goals scored coming into the match, and Carleton wasted little time in taking the lead. In the seventh minute, a firm, driven ball by Alex Voorhees whizzed over the Saints’ backline, and Bartholomay, fresh off his goal against Augsburg, smashed his header inside the near post to score his second goal in consecutive days.
The Knights doubled their lead fourteen minutes later, with Voorhees yet again playing the role of master provider. A corner by Derek Funk ’13 was headed out by a Saints’ defender back towards the center of the field. The ball landed at the feet of Alex Voorhees, stationed 30 yards away from goal, who unleashed a laser back towards goal. The senior’s low shot was magically controlled by Branden McGarrity ’16, who cooly slotted his finish past the Saints’ goalkeeper to score his 14th goal of the season, leaving the first-year forward in second place for most goals scored in a single season and one away from tying the record. Keenan Smith ’15 and the Knights’ defense remained solid the entire match, limiting the Saints to five shots for the entire game en route to securing the team’s fifth shutout of the season.
For his fantastic performances on Saturday and Sunday, Bartholomay was named the MIAC Men’s Soccer Athlete-of-the-Week, the first Knight to receive the honor this season. The Knights continue play in the MIAC with two away trips this week. On Wednesday, Carleton heads to Winona and face St. Mary’s University, who came into Wednesday’s contest one point behind Carleton in the MIAC standings. On Saturday, Carleton travels up to the Twin Cities to face Hamline University. The match against St. Mary’s is at 7 PM, while Saturday’s matchup begins at 1 PM.