With two weeks to go in the season, the task seems simple in theory. If Hamline's women's soccer team wins its last four MIAC games, they are guaranteed a spot in the 2012 playoffs.
But nothing is as ever as easy as it reads on paper. The opposition has a few things to say about such matters. While the Pipers lead the MIAC in overall wins with a 9-3-1 mark, the really important figure is the 3-3-1 MIAC mark that currently has them in a tie for seventh place with 10 points ... but just one point behind the three-way tie for the fourth and final postseason spot. Hamline gets to do something about that Saturday when they play one of those teams directly ahead of them. Carleton (7-3-2, 3-2-2 MIAC) is in that deadlock with St. Olaf and Augsburg.
HU already has a win over the Oles and faces the Auggies next Friday night in Minneapolis. The immediate task is a Knight team that has recovered nicely after losing its first two league matches.
The teams face off at Bell Field on the Carleton campus at 1:00 p.m.
HU is coming off a solid 3-0 home field win over Wis-Superior Oct. 9. In that game, Kelsey Carraciolo scored twice and Heather Hollinger added one to compliment the Molly Jacobs shutout, her record-setting seventh of the season. (She partnered with Sam Berger for an eighth blanking.) With nine wins, Hamline is one shy of tying the school record in that department. HU has won 10 games on two occasions, including last year when they went 10-5-3 overall.
A win tomorrow would move the Pipers into the thick of the playoff race and it would add another notch to this year's growing list of slayed historical demons. Earlier, HU defeated St. Olaf and St. Thomas for the first time since 2007. The Pipers have met the Knights 21 times since starting a soccer program in 1991. They have never beaten them. No time like the present, right?
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