ST. PAUL - An early second half goal by McKenna Peplinski pushed the St. Thomas women's soccer team (11-3-1, 6-3-0 MIAC) to a 1-0 win over St. Olaf College on Saturday afternoon at South Field.
On a day where the women's soccer program honored five seniors for their hard work and dedication to the program, the Tommies gained a key three points in the MIAC title race. The Oles entered the day tied for the league lead and four points in front of the Purple. The win knocked St. Olaf out of first place and St. Thomas now sits just one point behind the Oles and four points behind Augsburg.
On Saturday, St. Olaf took a 5-2 shot advantage to the half. Despite putting three of those shots on goal, the Tommie defense stood tall as the two squads went to the break in a scoreless tie.
In the second half, St. Thomas took advantage of its first scoring opportunity. Megan Zickert sent a cross to Peplinski, who put it away to give her team a 1-0 lead just over three minutes into the final 45 minutes.
St. Olaf threatened twice the remainder of the afternoon, putting one shot on net and hitting the crossbar with another, but goalkeeper Olivia Elvidge and the rest of the Tommie defense was up to the task as they went on to capture the 1-0 win.
The Oles finished with a 12-6 shot advantage, but each team put four shots on goal. The Tommies finished with a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
St. Thomas will be back on the field on Wednesday when the Tommie women host Augsburg in a pivotal MIAC tilt, scheduled to kick at 3:30 pm.
On Saturday, the St. Thomas Athletic Department honored five seniors (Brielle Bierman, Sara Osborne, Paige Elming, Erin Chiappetta, and Hailey Zweber), who have dedicated themselves to the St. Thomas women's soccer program over the past four years. Together, this group has amassed a record of 47-20-7 overall, including a 30-9-3 MIAC mark. This group has also earned back-to-back MIAC regular season titles in 2015 and 2016. They also helped the Tommies earn an at-large berth into the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer tournament last season.