BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The 2018 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) men's soccer season appears poised for a photo finish, with seven MIAC squads posting .500 or better records in Conference play and .600 or better winning percentages overall.
Three MIAC squads are receiving votes in national polls this week, as Macalester garnered attention in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 balloting, while Carleton and Gustavus both received double-digit votes in the D3soccer.com Poll.
MIAC teams also represent half of this week's North Region rankings, with Macalester at No. 3, St. Thomas at No. 6, Gustavus at No. 7, Saint John's at No. 9, and Carleton at No. 10. Hamline and Augsburg also received votes in the balloting.
Carleton is averaging 23.64 shots per game (5th in D-III) with 11.27 (4th in D-III) of them landing on goal.
Saint John's goalkeeper Payton Spencer (Hudson, Wis.) has a goals-against average of 0.321 this season, the fourth-best mark in NCAA Division III.
AROUND THE MIAC
Augsburg opened its October schedule with the team's first draw of the season. Sophomore Eduardo Gomez (Bloomington, Minn. | Kennedy) scored the Auggies' lone goal just 3:05 into a 1-1 tie at Hamline last Saturday.
Bethel forward Brendan Reich (Colorado Springs, Colo. | Rampart) scored in the 57th minute to put the Royals on the board in a 3-1 loss to Gustavus last Saturday.
Carleton senior Aaron Forman (Los Angeles, Calif. | Windward) secured his fourth shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory against St. Thomas on Saturday. The Knights' defense did a masterful job keeping the Tommies out of scoring range and limiting UST to just one shot on goal in the game.
Concordia scored four consecutive second-half goals in the span of 18 minutes to overcome a 1-0 halftime deficit and beat Viterbo, 4-2, on Sunday. Freshman TJ Anderson (Fargo, N.D. | Oak Grove) scored twice in the game.
Matt Gibbons (Minneapolis, Minn. | Minnehaha Academy) was a key factor in Gustavus extending its unbeaten streak to eight matches by scoring three goals in two games last week. Gibbons tallied a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over St. Scholastica and then followed with a two-goal performance at Bethel as the Gusties won 3-1.
Hamline midfielder Ben Sorenson (Farmington, Minn.) scored his first goal of the year in a 1-1 draw versus Augsburg over the weekend.
Macalester defender Robert Anigbogu (St. Paul, Minn. | North St. Paul) deflected a pass from Logan Harper into the goal in the 97th minute to give the Scots a 2-1 overtime victory over St. Olaf on Saturday. It was Anigbogu's first collegiate goal.
Saint John's forward Ben Becker (Richfield, Minn. | Academy of Holy Angels) scored three goals in two Johnnie wins over the weekend. The junior is currently tied for the MIAC lead in goals (7) and points (15) this season after entering 2018 with just one goal in 22 career appearances.
Saint Mary's forward Josh Balsiger (Camas, Wash. | Seton Catholic) netted his team-leading fifth goal of the season in the Cardinals' loss to Saint John's last Saturday. With his goal versus the Johnnies, Balsiger has now scored in three of the team's last five games.
St. Olaf junior Keith Loukas (Woodbury, Minn. | Mounds Park Academy) scored his first goal of the season in a 2-1 overtime loss to Macalester over the weekend.
St. Thomas bounced back from a 3-0 loss to Carleton on Saturday with a 5-1 comeback victory at home over Carthage on Sunday. Five different players scored goals in the win.