A season of new beginnings for the Carleton College women’s soccer team ended in rather surprising disappointment, missing the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) playoffs for the first time since 2007.
The biggest change of all for the Knights was a new coaching staff, led by head coach Jocelyn Keller, filling the void left by former head coach Keren Gudeman. Keller arrived from Earlham College in Indiana, where she had directed the women’s soccer program to two consecutive conference championships before leaving for Northfield.
The campaign started brightly for Keller and the Knights, with the first two games resulting in two road wins in Iowa against Simpson College and Wartburg College. Those two wins, coupled with two home, one-goal wins against UW - Eau Claire and College of St. Scholastica, gave the Knights four wins out of their first five games. The Knights were led by juniors Ellie Wilson (5 goals, 1 assist) and Bailey Ulbricht (4 goals, 3 assists), who both registered 11 points during the regular season. In goal, freshman Mikayla Coulombe played every minute of every game, ending the season with a 0.77 goals against average.
However, after such a promising start to the season, the Knights endured a rocky stretch of form that epitomized their entire season. Disappointing results against conference foes St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas left the Knights on the outside looking in on the MIAC playoffs, yet victories over Concordia College - Moorhead and the College of St. Scholastica, both of whom made the NCAA tournament, point to a promising future for the women’s soccer team as they prepare for the 2013 season.