After two hard fought games in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) playoffs, the Macalester men’s soccer team lost to Carleton in the semifinals 1-0 on Wednesday, Nov. 3 to end their playoff run after a big win in their Monday quarterfinal.
The Scots closed their regular season with a 5-4-1 record in the MIAC to secure the fifth seed in the playoffs. This set them up for a quarterfinal match against Augsburg to open their postseason run. The men traveled to Minneapolis on Monday, and beat the Auggies 3-2 to punch their ticket to a game against Carleton College on Wednesday.
The quarterfinal game was full of shots, fouls and heroics. Both the Scots and the Auggies took 15 shots over the 90 minute game, but Macalester was able to sneak through one more time to edge Augsburg. After an Auggie foul just outside the 18-yard box, Omar Anwar ’22 lined up a free kick. The Augsburg goalie pulled eight players back to form a wall, but Anwar’s shot was too quick. He sent the ball flying into the center left of the net to put the Scots up 1-0.
The rest of the first half featured a flurry of shots from both sides with Macalester goalkeeper Cade Fink ’22 coming up big with a punching save. Neither team could break through the stalwart defenses, and the half ended with a 1-0 lead for Macalester.
The next four goals came in the second half. The Auggies equalized in the 49th minute, then took the lead in the 63rd. Despite falling behind, the Scots continued to fight for the win.
Just ten minutes after Augsburg took the lead, Macalester tied the game back up with a goal from Silas Southworth ’23. Four minutes later Jack Muller ’22 slammed a shot in which ricocheted off the post. Danny Peak ’22 snagged the ball and scored to give Macalester a 3-2 lead.
The game was not over yet, and as the clock ticked down in the final ten minutes, Augsburg and Macalester played even harder. Both teams had a player sent off with a red card, Zade Alafranji ’24 for Macalester in the 81st minute and Jorge Radilla Elizade for Augsburg in the 89th.
After their Monday win, the Scots traveled to Northfield, Minn. on Wednesday, Nov. 3 to face second-seeded Carleton. In the regular season, Macalester lost to Carleton 1-0. In 2018, Macalester also faced the Knights in the MIAC semifinals, losing 1-0. This game, however, had much more riding on it.
In a repeat of 2018, the Scots could not find the back of the net over the 90 minute game. They lost 1-0 after a first half goal from the Knights.
Fink, in his final appearance in a Macalester jersey, made two saves in the second half, but the first half error meant the team would not move on to the MIAC final. Anwar and leading Macalester scorer Hans Haenicke ’25 led the team’s offense with two shots each. Anwar kicked the Scots’ only shot on goal.
Men’s soccer has traveled to the MIAC tournament for seven consecutive years (discounting 2020). In 2019, they lost a heartbreaking quarterfinal to St. John’s University on penalty kicks after fighting to a 0-0 tie. With these two losses fresh in the minds of the senior class, Macalester battled hard, but lost 1-0.
The men’s soccer team is the only fall team to clinch a playoff berth. Despite historic wins and thrilling games, the other fall teams fell short of their tournaments. Volleyball ended the 2021 season with a winning record, 13-12, under the guidance of first year coach Mary Johnston. The team had not had a winning season since 2006.
The women’s soccer team closed their season with a winning 10-6-2 record, but in the MIAC they went 4-6-1. This was not good enough to make the playoffs. The team, though, made huge strides this year. The Scots posted a winning record for the first time since 2017, and improved on their 2-14-1 record from 2019. Goalkeeper Dana Gustafson ’22 was third in the MIAC for both saves and save percentage over the course of the season.
Despite these improvements, women’s soccer head coach Krystle Seidel resigned on Nov. 2. Seidel cited a family relocation to Cincinnati, Ohio as the reason for her resignation after a three year tenure. Assistant coach Tori Burnett will serve as interim head coach as the athletics department begins a national search for Seidel’s replacement.
In their first season after returning to the MIAC, the Scots football team only won one in-division game. Interim head coach KiJuan Ware made history on Saturday, Oct. 30 when him and Hamline University head coach Chip Taylor became the first Black head coaches to face off in a MIAC game in any sport. Macalester won the game, their first MIAC win since their return, 23-13.
The winter sports season begins this week, and the athletics programs will look to improve upon their 2019 performances. As for men’s soccer, Carleton will remain a potent rival next fall.