Fabulous fall finish for Golden Rams programs

Women’s soccer at Anoka-Ramsey Community College continued to establish itself as not only one of the top programs in the upper Midwest, but also the country, in its return to the NJCAA Division III national tournament last weekend.

The sixth-ranked Golden Rams went 1-2 at the eight-team tournament, never losing a match in regulation.

Anoka-Ramsey freshman Elise Garlick (Australia) earned Region XIII Player of the Year honors after leading the Golden Rams back to nationals and scoring with 47 points (18 goals, 11 assists). Photo courtesy of Anoka-Ramsey Community College

Anoka-Ramsey freshman Elise Garlick (Australia) earned Region XIII Player of the Year honors after leading the Golden Rams back to nationals and scoring with 47 points (18 goals, 11 assists). Photo courtesy of Anoka-Ramsey Community College

Anoka-Ramsey opened nationals with a 2-1 shoot-out loss to Howard (Maryland), but regrouped for a 3-1 win against SUNY-Dehli (New York) the next day before another shoot-out loss ended the season against No. 4-ranked Richland 1-0.

Coach Brady Eichhorn-Hicks was pleased with the effort all season, showing Anoka-Ramsey can compete with the top programs across the country.

“It was a great season for the team,” he said. ‘We went 12-4-3 so it was quality. We set a new school record for wins and most goals scored in a season. We also had individual players have great seasons for us to compete the way we did.”

Namely, freshman forward Elise Garlick’s team-high 47 points (18 goals, 11 assists) stood out on the stats sheet. The Adelaide, Australia, native was one of three Aussies to make the Golden Rams roster, including freshman midfielder Alex Middendorp (Brisbane, Australia) who led the team in assists with 14 and freshman forward Sache’e Crismale (Gympie, Australia).

Garlick scored twice at nationals, finished seventh in the nation in scoring, was named to the all-tournament team at nationals and was named Region XIII Player of the Year.

Eichhorn-Hicks credits Garlick’s willingness to keep moving to generate good things all season. “She’s a really busy player and never stops moving,” he said. “She’s the most active player we have, a great athlete with a great first touch and she goes at it for 90 minutes.

“She’s a great teammate too, so it’s hard not to like [Garlick]. She does the things she can control very well.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Erica Parker (Minneapolis Southwest) played all 19 games posting 85 saves with a 1.68 goals against average and .759 saves percentage heading into nationals.

Eichhorn-Hicks praised Parker’s performance at nationals for keeping the Golden Rams in each contest. “She really made some unbelievable saves and nationals and no doubt raised her profile,” he said.

The question will be if Parker chooses to continue with soccer or basketball at the next level.

To reach nationals, the Golden Rams won 4-3 at Rochester in the Region XIII championship game before hosting College of Dupage (Illinois) in the district championship Oct. 26. Anoka-Ramsey won the game 2-1 in overtime thanks to a penalty kick conversion by sophomore midfielder Molly Larson (Rogers). She added 13 assists on the season, but saved her most meaningful goal for the playoffs.

Garlick’s shot drew a penalty when a Dupage player cleared the ball off the goal line with her hand, three minutes into the first overtime.

Down 1-0 in the second half, Anoka-Ramsey sophomore forward Lindsay Madden (Elk River) scored her 12th goal of the season, second only to Garlick who set up the score with a crossing pass. Madden collected the ball and fired a shot into the upper left corner of the goal.

Men’s’ soccer

Anoka-Ramsey finished a promising fall campaign with a 13-3-1 record, but failed to qualify for the district tournament after losing to Century College 2-0 in the Region XIII championship game Oct. 20.

The Golden Rams outshot their counterparts 17-5, but couldn’t find a way to score after averaging more than three goals a game leading up to the contest. Defensively, they surrendered two goals or more six times compiling a 3-2-1 record in those contests.

Eichhorn-Hicks serves as head coach for both Golden Rams soccer programs.

He said the men’s program dealt with team chemistry issues all season and that was a factor in distracting the team in the match against Century.

“The lesson we took away from that match is that they have to come together as a unit, put aside their differences because we are all Golden Rams and work for each other,” Eichhorn-Hicks said.

Seventeen players on the roster listed hometowns outside the United States, five each from the United Kingdom and Australia.

Adam Creaney, a native of Northampton, England, led the team with eight goals (22 points). Jamie Collins, a freshman midfielder from Jedburgh, Scotland, led the team in shots with 33 and eight assists (12 points).

St. Michael native Justin McLain was second on the team in scoring with 16 points (seven goals, including three game winners) and Ramadan Hassan (Champlin Park) had 15 points (six goals). Sophomore defenseman Joey Gustafson (Anoka) had eight points (two goals) on 13 shots and one game-winning goal.

Creaney, Chapman and Gustafson were named to the Region XIII team.

Volleyball

Anoka-Ramsey Community College volleyball’s season came to a close after a 3-1 loss at Ridgewater in Willmar Oct. 30.

The Golden Rams finished with a 11-16 overall record and 6-8 in the MCAC’s Southern Division.

Anoka-Ramsey started the season 7-2 before losing seven straight matches. It finished 4-14 after that red-hot start and won three times in October.

Sophomore hitter Jordan Moening earned a place on the 2013 MCAC Southern All-Division First Team and freshman Agabo Okwan (Coon Rapids) represented the Golden Rams on the second team. Okwan was one of five freshmen to make the list.

Okwan played in all 27 matches,while leading the team in kills (263), blocks (63) and points (370) with a .352 hitting percentage. Her 44 aces were second to Moening’s 52 and 204 digs were fourth best. Freshman setter Rosie Johnson had 818 sets.

Jason Olson is at
jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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