Football, soccer teams bring homecoming wins

By Caitlin Opperman

Last weekend’s homecoming was a rousing success for men’s soccer and football, both of whom clinched critical mid-season wins.The Scots made Friday’s soccer game against St. Mary’s look easy, winning 3-0 with a hat trick from Taylor Rasmussen ’13.

“Scoring the hat trick on Friday night in front of the home crowd was exhilarating,” Rasmussen said. “I’m grateful for the chances my teammates gave me and that I was able to help us win the game.”

Two of Rasmussen’s goals were made with assists from Jesse Geary ’12 and Ryan Marshall ’12.

“I felt good about the last game,” Marshall said. “Although we didn’t play our best for the full 90 minutes, we were able to generate some ball possession, which led to great opportunities in front of goal. It is hard to complain after a win.”

Head coach Ian Barker agreed. “The St Mary’s game had the potential of an upset as Macalester was “expected” to win against a team that had yet to win in MIAC play,” Barker said. “What was pleasing was that the Macalester team was not over confident, nor unduly tight. Instead the team went about their business really well, scored early, and had a two goal lead by halftime.”

Barker points to the relationships on the field as a key to success.

“It’s good for Matt Weyer ’12 and Jansen Smith ’12 to share the shout out in goal and for the back four to join in that,” he said. “In the midfield Reid Usedom ’12 and Stephen Murphy-Logue ’11 continue to form a very mature partnership and understanding of each other’s respective game.”

Ultimately, the team hopes to win the conference championship.

“We can’t overlook any games, and we have to show up ready to play for each game,” Marshall said. “Our destiny is in our own hands.”

The team’s immediate focus will be securing enough points to make the MIAC tournament.

“Then we would focus on a home seed, and even the MIAC regular season championship,” Barker said. “This team is better than previous ones at not getting ahead of itself or of getting too stressed. The players are in a great position which they have earned, what remains at hand is to take our opportunity.”

For Rasmussen, that means continuing to score.

“That’s my responsibility on this team, just like it’s the defenders’ and goalies’ responsibility to keep the ball out of our net. If I do my job and we win, I’ll be happy,” he said.

Saturday’s football game was no less exciting, with the Scots defeating Trinity Bible College 41-28. Running back T. Joe Loiselle ’12 ran for 242 yards and tied a school record with four touchdowns. Kicker Auburn Jimenez ’14 added two field goals to the total.

“I was very pleased with the victory last weekend,” head coach Tony Jennison said. “It was a competitive and hard hitting game that went back and forth and I thought our young men showed a lot of character and resilience.”

Senior Night and Family Fest boosted attendance, providing a lively crowd for the last home game of the season as well as of graduating players’ Mac football careers.

“Personally, I tried not to focus on “senior night” and I just treated it like any other game,” Jon Elliot ’11, who scored on a 33-yard pass from quarterback Clark Bledsoe ’13, said. “I didn’t want emotions to become a factor. I’ll start to think about that after our last game of the season.”

With three games left, the football team is taking every opportunity to improve.

“We need to do a better job of limiting the other team’s big plays,” Jennison said.

Having a bye week this week is a great advantage in Elliot’s eyes.

“It gives us a week to work on getting our team better both physically and mentally, with less emphasis on an opponent,” he said.

Football’s next matchup will be against Carleton on October 23rd. Men’s soccer takes on St. Olaf this Saturday in Northfield.