The Tommie men’s soccer team’s hopes to extend a three-game winning streak in the MIAC were thwarted as St. Thomas lost 1-0 at home to conference leader Carleton (10-3) Wednesday afternoon.
A 0-0 tie went deep into the second overtime and it appeared St. Thomas (7-5-1) would manage a tie. But with 13 seconds left in the game, Carleton junior Wes Elfman broke free for the game’s only goal. He avoided the diving Tommie goalkeeper, senior Carlos Castelan, and buried the game winner.
“We were forcing everyone up,” sophomore forward Mike Hutton said. “They got a good bounce and tapped it past Carlos. It was a great goal.”
Carleton was led by a steady offensive attack from sophomore forward Tim Wills, Elfman and sophomore Miles Silbert.
The game was a struggle between two solid teams, with minimal ball movement and an array of scrums and turnovers. The Knights were stellar defensively, limiting Hutton and the Tommies to long range shots and header attempts.
“As a group, they were great at covering,” Hutton said. “They recovered for each other and had great team chemistry.”
The Tommies registered just four shots on goalkeeper Pete Semmer. Led by junior Courtney Morris, the Knights were solid in locking down the Tommie forwards.
St.Thomas did have goal scoring opportunities throughout the game.
Junior Reid Moser-Bleil narrowly missed on a corner kick from sophomore Alex Daley, and sophomore Colton Llewellyn made several fine plays and nearly converted twice for goals. Hutton did the most he could to bring the ball deep into Knight territory, and had a few chances of his own receiving corner kicks in front of the net that went unconverted.
St. Thomas finished with seven corner kicks and Hutton ended with three shots on goal.
“We had great services,” Hutton said. “We just couldn’t finish.”
The Tommie defense did hold its own, limiting the Knights’ offense to five shots on goal. Solid defensive efforts came from juniors Colin White and James Hart. At one point, junior Kyle Mader resorted to a bicycle kick to clear the ball away from the Tommie net.
Tension was high during the match, as Daley and Carleton’s Ryan Cammarota got into a shoving match near midfield. Four yellow cards were issued, three of them to Tommie players, and a total of 40 fouls were called between the two teams.
St. Thomas is 0-3-2 in the last five meetings against the Knights. Carleton has also won the MIAC title the last two years. The Tommies will play Gustavus (5-5-3) at home on Saturday.
“We are approaching Gustavus the same regardless of the outcome today,” Hutton said. “We still have a good chance to get into the playoffs.”
Danny Grimmer can be reached at email@example.com