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Schedule and Results

Result: W 1-0

Men's Soccer hosts MIAC Playoffs - semifinals vs. Macalester College

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 – 2:00 p.m. at Northfield, Minn. - Bell Field

Brennan Johnson punches Knights' ticket to MIAC Finals

(L to R) Mark Roth, Henry Koelling, and Brennan Johnson
(L to R) Mark Roth, Henry Koelling, and Brennan Johnson
Photo: Ruthie Yankwitt' 22

PHOTO GALLERY by Geoffrey Mo '19 and Ruthie Yankwitt '22

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – On Halloween, the No. 25-ranked Carleton College men’s soccer team was faced with the trick of how to beat visiting Macalester College in their MIAC Playoffs semifinal match, with the treat of a spot in the finals awaiting the winning team. The lone goal of the contest came on a first-half strike off the foot of Brennan Johnson (So./Portland, Ore./Grant), cementing the 1-0 victory for the home team.

The result advances the No. 2 seeded Knights (15-1-2) to the finals of the MIAC Playoffs, where Carleton will host No. 5 seed Augsburg University for a contest that will determine the conference’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championships.

This was Carleton’s first game of the postseason, as the Knights earned a first-round bye. As for Macalester (11-6-3), this was its second contest in as many days after playing a quarterfinal match on Tuesday.

Both sides put forth a determined defensive effort throughout, as Carleton was held to 10 shots, 11 below their season average, and Macalester attempted only six, eight below its standard.

Right from the opening kick, the match felt like a World Cup final, as every loose ball and every header was fought for with maximum effort. The opening goal almost came off one such play when the Scot keeper charged out of the box to put an end to a developing run by Marco de Cunha (San Francisco, Calif./San Francisco University), and the ball ricocheted to William Lanzillo (Sr./Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West). Lanzillo decided to try his luck from long-range, and launched a long-range kick that got caught in the wind, and Macalester was able to keep the ball out of the net.

With the half winding down towards intermission, it appeared that the score would remain dead-locked. Then in the 40th minute, Adam Pearson (Rockford, Ill./Rockford Lutheran) stepped up to take a free-kick the midfield line. He proceeded to loft a beautiful ball into the box and found the head of Henry Koelling (Fy./Ann Arbor, Mich,/Detroit Catholic Central), who knocked the ball back toward the middle of the box where Johnson was waiting. When the ball got to him, Johnson fired a shot into the left side of the goal, giving the Knights a 1-0 advantage at the break.

In the second-half, both teams kept up the high-intensity play looking for goals, however none were to be found. In the 76th minute Johnson had perhaps Carleton’s best chance of the half when he beat his defender to the ball and poked a shot on goal, however this time the Macalester goalie was able to block his shot. As the match wound down to five minutes left, the Scots mounted one last blitz at the Carleton goal, but the Knights kept their composure and fought off multiple crosses into the box.

Carleton goalie Aaron Forman (So./Los Angeles, Calif./Windward) performed impeccably in his first playoff start, earning his MIAC-best seventh shutout of the season.

With the victory, Carleton extends its unbeaten streak to 14 games. Additionally, this result served as payback after Macalester ended the Knights’ 2017 campaign with a 1-0 victory in the MIAC quarterfinals exactly one year ago.

In the other conference semifinal, underdog Augsburg knocked off top-seeded Gustavus Adolphus College, 1-0, setting up a showdown between Carleton and the Auggies for the MIAC Playoffs championship. This will represent the Knights’ first finals appearance since 2013 when Carleton knocked off Saint John’s, 2-1.

As the higher seed, Carleton will host the finals match on Saturday, Nov. 3, with kickoff slated for 1pm. Knights Online will once again have live video and live stats for the contest.