On Wednesday, Oct. 14 the St. Olaf men’s soccer team went head to head against the University of St. Thomas. The game ended with a close defeat for the Oles, as St. Thomas surged to a 2-1 victory.
Both teams struggled to maintain possession early in the contest, and shots came at a premium. As play proceeded, however, the game became more organized and fluid. Both teams struggled on the offensive side of the ball during the first half of the match, until St. Olaf scored a late goal, making the score 1-0. Kevin Skrip ’16 scored the goal just before the end of the first half with an assist from Brenden Johnson ’16, boosting the team’s confidence and pumping them up for the second half of play.
St. Thomas tied up the game well into the second half as Tommie forward Jamie Collins found the back of the net with an impressive assist by Paul Florczak. Both teams fought fiercely until the end, but the Tommies pulled ahead late when Florczak scored the final goal on a corner kick by teammate Merk Heydt, putting St. Thomas in the lead 2-1.
St. Thomas, a team that has recently struggled in the MIAC, came off a three game losing streak. This victory is certainly a long awaited confidence boost for the Tommies, who had found success early in the season.
While St. Olaf failed to capture an important victory on its home turf, the Oles dominated much of the game, finishing with a total of eleven shots with six on target. Goalie Ben Braman ’17 made multiple impressive saves, but not enough to hold off the strong forward play by the Tommies, who sit just below St. Olaf in the overall MIAC standings.
St. Olaf currently sits with a total record of 7-6-0, and a MIAC record of 4-2-0. The Oles, who won the MIAC last season, hope to find the level of success from last year as postseason play begins to loom on the horizon.