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Making its second consecutive Northern Athletics Conference Tournament appearance, the
Despite the loss earlier in the season,
"It's difficult to beat a team twice in a season," Madsen said. "I think the second-through-eighth place teams in the conference are pretty evenly matched. Our guys have really grown up this season, and we know we can accomplish something big."
The Muskies (8-6-2) just completed their first winning season since 1994, drawing a 0-0 tie with second-seeded Concordia
"The guys should be proud of all the things we've accomplished so far this season," Madsen said after the match. "We are playing with a lot of confidence right now and playing that well against a team like Concordia is a huge boost for the team."
Entering the tournament, senior midfielder Kevin Fitchett leads the team offensively. The
Last Saturday against Benedictine, Fitchett almost single-handedly lifted the Muskies to a crucial 3-2 victory on Senior Day at
"Kevin was able to take the game and turn it on its head, which has been typical this season," Madsen said. "He created both of those goals and Benedictine really didn't have many great chances to score after that."
Freshman midfielder Adam Benson (Anoka, Minn.) has impressed Madsen late in the season with his play. Benson, whose six goals on the season are fourth on the team, scored the first goal of the game against Benedictine.
Madsen also credited an improved defense for the Muskies' success. Freshman goalkeeper Ross Soukup (
"Our defense was as good as we've been all season against Concordia
The defense will be critical against an
The Spartans also boast the conference's top scorer in senior forward Chase Corricelli, who has 20 goals this season in 20 games played.Last season, the Muskies were defeated by Edgewood 5-0 in the tournament's quarterfinals on Oct. 29, 2007, in Madison.