Women’s Soccer Draws Even vs. Martin Luther

Dylan Zimmerman

The College of St. Scholastica women’s soccer team traveled down to New Ulm, Minnesota this past Saturday for a conference matchup against the Martin Luther Knights. There was a lot on the line for this second to last UMAC match for CSS. The Saints were hanging on to the second place position in conference standings while the Knights were on the border of either qualifying for playoffs or just narrowly missing them.

St. Scholastica had Martin Luther’s number for quite some time prior to the match, counting back 19 matches since CSS hadn’t taken down the Knights. The streak was snapped, however, as CSS was unable to capitalize off their enormous advantages in shots-on-goal and corner kicks taken, and ultimately tied at a score of 0-0 after two overtimes were complete.

The first half, as was much of the entire match, was heavily dominated by St. Scholastica. With the amount of shots taken by CSS doubling that of Martin Luther’s shots (27-13) it was quite amazing that the Saints weren’t able to pull out a victory. Strong play from Martin Luther’s Julia Barthels was what the Knights needed, as she managed to stop all 11 of St. Scholastica’s shots-on-goal to maintain the scoreless affair at Knight Field. Four of those shots-on-goal were in the first half, while six more came in the second half. Roni Rudolph, much like that of Martin Luther’s Barthels, played strong in between the posts and collected three saves of her own.

The overtime periods were much more quiet, as only one shot was marked as “on goal”. That shot would be from St. Scholastica’s Hannah Zeis on a header in the first overtime, which would of course be stopped yet again by Barthels.

Rudolph and Barthels would both record shutouts in the match, as both proved to be a nuisance for the opposing team’s offense.

“We had great energy and heart while playing, but would have liked to get the win,” said Rudolph. “We did everything right throughout the game and dominated, we just couldn’t put a shot past their keeper, who made some great saves.”

Rudolph, who is having a fantastic first year at CSS, is a redshirt-freshman as she was on the roster at the University of Minnesota-Duluth
last year. Despite having the experience from last year, she was still a bit unclear of what it would be like once the season got under way at CSS.

“I wasn’t quite sure what this season would be like,” said Rudolph. “I just wanted to go out there and do the best I could, so I’m very happy with the success I’ve had so far.”

Despite tying with the Knights, CSS still holds onto second place with just one match remaining in regular season play as they travel to Northland on Wednesday night to take on the recently named conference champions. This game means more than just ending the season with a win, as a victory against the undefeated team in the conference can help boost confidence on just about any team right before playoffs start.

“We really want to beat Northland, we tied them earlier in the season and we feel we should have won that game,” said Rudolph. “Our team has gotten significantly better since we last played them and we feel confident that we have the personnel to beat them. We would love to give them their first loss in the conference.”