Women halt losing streak at four, stay alive in playoff hunt

By Nate Wilson-Traisman

Maddie Mette ’10 and Grace King ’09 both scored goals as Macalester beat St. Mary’s 2-0 last Saturday, snapping a four-game losing streak. The skid was the longest for the Scots in two decades.The win improved the Scots’ record to 8-5 overall and 5-3 in the MIAC and moved them into a fourth place tie with Carleton in the standings. Only the top four teams in conference qualify for the MIAC playoffs, which begin Oct. 30.

“It surprised me, with all my experience, how much I enjoyed the win,” Head Coach John Leaney said. “I felt for the first time in a long time, that everyone played well.”

Mette’s first goal of the season came off of a free kick at 35:42, putting the Scots up 1-0. Macalester never looked back, in a game where they out shot the Cardinals 20-5.

“It was an unstoppable shot,” Leaney said of Mette’s kick. “I don’t think any keeper could have got it where she put it.”

The Scots struggled prior to the St. Mary’s game, losing the four previous games all by a single goal. Those were uncharted waters for Macalester, considering no current player had ever endured a losing streak of that duration.

“We aren’t used to losing. We didn’t really know what to do, but the upperclassmen had some good things to say that kept us going,” Mette said.

Leaney also made it clear that the four games lost were all very much winnable, and he emphasized that to the team.

“It was very important for me to convey to the team that nothing was wrong,” Leaney said.

King echoed Leaney’s sentiments regarding the losing streak.

“At the end of every game we felt like we could have won,” she said.

The players believed that part of the problem was lack of intensity in the early stages of matches. To combat that, they altered their warm-up routine, and it paid off. It took 13 minutes for Macalester’s keeper Jenny Lee ’09 to even touch the ball, which was indicative of the Scot’s domination early on.

“We beat St. Mary’s because we came out harder,” King said.

With two MIAC games remaining, the Scots have put themselves into playoff contention. The consensus appears to be that an undefeated finish to the season will be necessary in order to make the playoffs.

“We have to win out,” Mette said.

Leaney wasn’t as definitive, yet made it obvious that the Scots control their own destiny from here on out.

“If we keep winning I believe other results will help us,” Leaney said. “If we lose, we’re dependent on other results.”

Tuesday, the Scots tied St. Thomas 1-1, in two overtimes. The Scots are now in a virtual must-win situation entering their final matches versus Hamline and Gustavus. If they lose either of the two, the chances of making the playoffs are slim. Macalester has participated in postseason play every year since the MIAC playoffs were implemented in 2003.