The Carleton Men’s Soccer team extended their unbeaten streak to ten this week with conference victories away at St. Mary’s University and Hamline University, while Tuesday’s victory over Northwestern College saw the Knights score eight goals in a game for the second time this season. Over the course of this ten-game unbeaten streak, the Knights have outscored their opposition by a 34-6 margin.
This year’s squad also broke the seasonal goal-scoring mark with a 53-goal record so far, shattering the record of 48 goals set in 2006. Most importantly, the Knights have won 13 games this season, the fourth-highest total in program history, surpassing last year’s total and four wins shy of the 2008 school record of four wins.
Last Wednesday, despite registering a 3-1 win, the Knights found themselves in an unfamiliar position: trailing in a match. Despite St. Mary’s scoring a shocking opening goal, a beautiful cross by Ben Walsh ’14 was headed home by a diving Simon Ginet ’14.
The Knights’ offensive pressure paid less than ten minutes into the second half. Alex Voorhees ’13 did well to nick the ball away from a Cardinal defender, and the ball squirted out to Ginet at the top of the box. Ginet found Will Corcoran ’14, who sent a left-footed shot into the back of the net to give Carleton a well-deserved lead.
The one-goal lead would remain until the 89th minute, when Ginet would play a long through ball to a streaking McGarrity. The first-year forward sped past two Cardinal defenders, shimmied past the goalkeeper, and cooly slotted his shot into the side netting to secure the win. McGarrity’s goal was his 15th of the season, tying the school single-season goal record.
MIAC play continued this weekend, as the Hamline Pipers were the next challenge for the Knights in their quest of securing another MIAC championship. The rainy conditions did little to deter the Knights from their dynamic offensive prowess, and it only took Carleton a little over eleven minutes to score the opening goal. Ginet, who registered a goal and two assists against St. Mary’s, was yet again on target.
Following a cleared Carleton corner kick, Brian Rhodes ’13 sent back another cross that was headed behind by McGarrity. The ball skidded on the wet grass, but Ginet managed to squeeze his shot into the side netting from a tremendously acute angle. Fifteen minutes later, the Knights doubled their lead. A long free kick by Alex Voorhees led to a scramble in the box, and Neil Bartholomay ’14 managed to pass the ball to fellow center-back Devin Tomson-Moylan ’15, who converted a simple tap-in from six yards away to score his first goal of the season.
Carleton would take the 2-0 lead into halftime, and in the 64th minute, Ginet found himself, once again, on target. An interception by Voorhees in the middle of the field sprung the Carleton attack, as he played McGarrity in a wide position. The first-year’s cross found the head of Corcoran, who just mistimed his diving header. But the junior’s header ricocheted off a Hamline defender, and Ginet followed up the rebound and hit a fierce left-footed volley past the Pipers’ goalie to give Carleton a comfortable lead.
Eight minutes after Ginet’s goal, a tricky run from Nathan Park ’15 drew a penalty, which Voorhees converted to give Carleton a four goal lead. The Knights’ defense and goalkeeper James Neher ’14 kept the Pipers off the scoreboard to preserve the shutout.
Finally, on Tuesday, the Knights travelled back up to St. Paul to complete their non-conference schedule against Northwestern College. In similar fashion to their win over Hamline, the Knights came out flying, and after five minutes were ahead 1-0. Corcoran did well to strip a Northwestern defender inside the box and passed to McGarrity. McGarrity’s cross found Ginet inside the six-yard box, who chested the ball into the net to give Carleton a deserved early lead.
Less than five minutes later, Ginet scored his second of the game and his 10th of the season. Following a corner kick, Derek Funk ’13 headed the ball back into the box, and Ginet stooped low to flick the ball past the Northwestern goalie and double the Knights’ lead. The third goal, like the second, came from a corner kick by Corcoran, who connected with Bartholomay’s head to cushion the lead. The three goal advantage would last to halftime.
The Knights’ offensive firepower was on display again in the second half, as Carleton scored two goals in nine seconds, while scoring four goals in nine minutes to give the MIAC side a 7-0 lead. The fourth goal resulted from a lofted ball into the box that was punched right to Funk twelve yards away from goal. The senior midfielder hit a left-footed volley that found itself past a defender and the goalie. It marked Funk’s first goal since his overtime winner against Elmhurst College on September 7th.
Nine seconds after Funk bulged the net, Alex Voorhees registered another candidate for goal-of-the-season, unleashing a 35-yard howitzer that swerved in midair to leave the goalkeeper rooted on the spot. Voorhees’ fantastic fifth goal was matched by a spectacular sixth from McGarrity. Right back Trent Elmore ’16 sent the ball to his classmate, who shrugged off a Northwestern defender to leave himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper. The first-year forward dribbled at the goalie and waited for him to commit before poking the ball for the team’s sixth goal of the game and his 16th goal of the season.
After breaking the single-season goal record with his gentle toe ball finish, McGarrity added his 17th goal of the season less than two minutes later. A long ball by Michael Hovick ’14 was misplayed by a defender, and McGarrity took full advantage of the opportunity, running at full steam towards the Northwestern goal. The forward hit his shot above the sprawling goalie to give Carleton its seventh goal of the game.
Will Schiefeling ’15 added a twenty-yard effort in the 77th minute for Carleton’s eighth tally, with Neher and Nathan Livingston ’16 combining to give the Knights back-to-back clean sheets.
The Knights’ stellar play continues to push them higher in the national rankings. The Knights are ranked 14th nationally according to the NSCAA, and are 23rd nationally in the D3soccer.com poll.
The Knights finish the season with three home MIAC encounters, with Bethel University coming to Bell Field at 1 PM on Saturday. On Tuesday at 3:30 PM, the Knights face a St. Thomas team that is also competing for first place in the MIAC and are also nationally ranked, while Sunday’s fixture sees the Oles of St. Olaf come across the river for another installment of the Northfield derby. Sunday’s match is at 1 PM.
Winning all three matches will see Carleton clinch at least a share of the MIAC championship, so come watch all the action unfold Live at Bell Field these next two weeks.