Carroll College, Helena Montana
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By Kyle Sample, Helena IR

Dave Thorvilson doesn’t exactly remember the last time the Saints were faced with penalty kicks.

“It’s probably been two or three years,” Carroll’s women’s soccer coach said. To prepare his team for the exclusively postseason occurrence, Thorvilson would attempt to recreate the angst of PKs near the end of practice by having his strikers attempt shots with post-practice fitness as the consequence for missed attempts.

When 90 minutes of game play and two 10-minute overtime sessions commenced with a 0-0 tie with rival Rocky during the semifinals of the Unaffiliated Tournament on Friday in Billings, the importance of PKs increased immensely; if Carroll’s five shooters were more accurate than the Bears, a day off and a date in the tournament finals awaited.

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BILLINGS, Mont. – The Carroll College women’s soccer team fell in a shoot out to Rocky Mountain in the semifinals of the NAIA Unaffiliated Tournament in Billings Friday.

The most important factor in the game wasn’t a player or a coach, it was the wind.

Whichever team had the win in their favor gained control of the ball. When the Saints had the wind at their backs they outshot Rocky Mountain 8-2. When the Bears had the wind they outshot Carroll 5-3.

After 90 minutes of regulation and two ten-minute overtimes neither team could score a goal and the match went into a shoot-out.

Rocky Mountain goalkeeper Missy Schultz saved two  of the four shots she faced and the Bears advanced to the championship match.

“Today’s match pitted two very good teams against each other and it took a penalty shootout to find a winner,” head coach Dave Thorvilson said.  “This year both of our games against Rocky in Billings ended in 0-0 ties and in total we played 310 minutes of soccer and did not concede a goal.”

Although disappointed in the final outcome, Thorvilson takes pride a season in which the Saints ended with a 12-3-4 record.

“PK’s are always a difficult way to end the season but I am very proud our team,” Thorvilson said. “I am happy with the way we played today and the success we found this season.” 

The Saints will be veteran laden team next season there, there are 10 juniors on this year’s squad but three big pieces of this Saints team played their last match in a Carroll uniform today. Seniors Kelli Lessmeier, Tessa Neameyer and Briana Carlin will all graduate in the spring.

“We said goodbye to three tremendous seniors today,” Thorvilson said. “We hope them success in life and thank them for their contributions to Carroll College and being part of the Saints family and the soccer team.”

 

BILLINGS, Mont. – The Carroll College women’s soccer team advanced to the second round of the NAIA Unaffiliated Tournament after a 3-1 victory over Presentation Thursday.

The Saints took a lead in tenth minute when Michaela Keuffler scored on an assist from Lexi Pyette.

The Saints added to the lead just nine minutes later when the Pyette found the back of the net for her own goal.

Presentation got on the board in the 29th minute with a goal by Meagan Hale.

With just four minutes remaining in the first half Katey Friedt scored, assisted by Cassie Baldwin.

Neither team scored in the second half and the Saints cruised to the victory.

The Saints tallied 33 shots on goal to Presentation’s seven. Carroll also had 16 shots on goal to Presentation’s five.

“It was a good win for us today,” head coach Dave Thorvilson said. “We are not used to playing games at 11:00 and to get our first post season win and playing time for lots of our ladies today we are happy with the result.” 

Carroll plays tournament host, Rocky Mountain, tomorrow, again at 11 a.m. The Saints tied with Bears in Billings and defeated them 1-0 in Helena. Thorvilson knows that it is time to focus on Rocky.

“With a quick turnaround and a familiar opponent in Rocky our focus need to turn away from today's win and get ready for a hard fought game tomorrow,” he said. 

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – A second half lone goal from Kristyn Bohlander propelled Carroll College to a 1-0 victory over the University of Great Falls in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The game was originally scheduled to be played on Sunday but was moved to Saturday because of expected winter weather.

“It was a great win against a very good team,” Carroll head coach Dave Thorvilson said. “The game was move up a day because the weather was changing, we had some injuries and it was senior day for UGF but we kept a clean sheet and I was very proud of that.”

The Saints outshot UGF 14-12 but tallied just four shots on goal to the Argos five.

Bohlander’s goal came in the 56th minute but held up for the Carroll win. The Saints finish the regular season with a 12-3-3 record ahead of next week’s Frontier/North Star tournament in Billings.

“It was great to finish the season with a win,” Thorvilson said. “We are now turning our focus to post season play this coming Thursday in Billings.”

he win was a milestone victory for the Saints. It marks the 100th career win for coach Thorvilson who completed his 8th regular season Saturday.

“Today was my 100th career win,” Thorvilson said. “It is a great honor but it is more of a testament to the great players and coaches that I have had the privilege to work with over the last eight years.”

The Saints have won five conference championships in Thorvilson’s eight seasons at the helm.

Carroll faces Presentation Thursday in the first round of the conference tournament.

HELENA, Mont. – When Carroll College women’s soccer last met Rocky Mountain, the game ended in a 0-0 draw on a rainy day in Billings. The sun was out for the rematch on Friday afternoon and the game was nearly as close but a first-half Carroll goal held up to give the Saints a 1-0 victory over the Bears.

Kayla Bayer scored the lone goal in the 30th minute. She beat her defender and sent a long shot across the face of the Rocky goalkeeper. The ball ricocheted off of the far post and bounced in for the score. 

The win moves Carroll to 11-1-3 on the season and 2-0-1 in Frontier Conference play. The Saints are unbeaten in eight consecutive matches.

The Saints men faced Rocky prior to the women's match and fell 4-1 to the Bears.

The Carroll women host Westminster on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Fans that attend the game can participate in a silent auction to purchase the pink jerseys that the team wore against Rocky and will wear against the Griffins.

Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation.

HELENA, Mont. – The Carroll College women’s soccer team will again go all out for cancer awareness when they take the field Friday at 3:30 p.m. against Rocky Mountain and Sunday at 1 p.m. against Westminster wearing pink kits with green lettering.

The pink represents breast cancer awareness and the green is the official color of Lymphoma awareness, a disease that has had a big impact on the Carroll soccer team and head coach Dave Thorvilson.

Thorvilson’s mother passed away from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and former Carroll player and assistant coach Erin Volz was impacted by the disease.

Volz was diagnosed with Lymphona halfway through her senior year at Carroll.

“It had a big effect on us,” Thorvilson said. “We are a really tight knit team and when that happened it was tough. The girls rallied to support her and we all wore green laces that season to show her our support.

“When we decided to do this this year we decided it would be a great opportunity to continue that with letters on the jerseys.”

The Saints are doing more than raising awareness. They are also using the opportunity to raise money that will stay in the community.

The jerseys worn by the team and two special pink game balls will be auctioned off. A silent auction will take place on tables that will be set up in the Nelson Stadium concourse before and during the games. The money raised will be donated to the St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation.

All the money generated by the auction will be donated directly to the cause because of Dr. Christopher Mast from Mast Family Dentistry who covered the cost of the jersey with a generous donation and Play On Soccer who donated the balls.

“As a team we hope that the money we raise will have a big impact on the lives of the people in Helena,” Thorvilson said. “Dr. Mast’s donation will help our contribution impact more people.”

The driving force behind the cancer awareness weekend was the team. The three seniors on this year’s squad made it a point to Thorvilson that they would contribute to the cause this season.

“The seniors really led the march on this one,” Thorvilson said. “They were the ones that spearheaded the effort and they went to Dr. Mast and asked for the donation.”

The Carroll women have not lost in seven consecutive matches and carry a 10-1-3 record on the season.

Friday’s match against Rocky Mountain is a rematch a 0-0 tie from Sept. 28. On Sunday the Saints face Westminster. The Griffins are 10-3-2 on the year.

The Carroll men face Rocky at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

DALLAS – Brittany Girolami scored a lone goal in the 92nd minute to give Carroll College a 1-0 victory over NCAA Division III University of Texas-Dallas.

The Saints and Comets tallied three shots each in the first half but Carroll stepped up the pressure in the second half.

The Saints outshot UTD 7-5 in the second half. Four of those Carroll’s came in final 5:30 spurred by a shot my Michaela Kueffler that hit the crossbar at the 84:30 mark.

“Both teams had chances but Michaela’s shot that hit the crossbar really helped the team step up the pressure in the last five minutes,” head Coach Dave Thorvilson said. “That momentum carried over into the overtime.”

Just over a minute into the overtime period a UTD foul set up a Carroll free kick in 30 yards out of the Comets’ goal.

Girolami found the back of the net with her free kick to give the Saints their third-straight victory on the golden goal.

“I am very proud of the team to get a win over a good team on the road,” Thorvilson said. “They were athletic, well coached and played hard. It was a great win.”

 The shutout was the fourth-consecutive clean sheet for Carroll goalkeeper Jamie Carter.

The Saints are now 10-1-2 on the season. They continue their Texas road swing Monday when they meet Texas A&M Texarkana at 12 p.m.

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