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Women's soccer defeats Pine Manor

[mk1]By Paul Paternoster

The women's soccer team played its way last Thursday to one of the most impressive victories in its brief history at MIT. An estimated home crowd of about 10 people watched the tenacious Engineers trounce Pine Manor 10-1.

Under the direction of first-year coach Shawn Ladda, a former Mid-Atlantic all-star at Penn State, MIT outhustled Pine Manor from the opening kickoff. Very rarely did the opponents cross midfield, as the Engineers bottled them up in front of the goal.

The tempo of the game was set early by tri-captains Jeri Ikeda '87, Marjorie Bump '87 and Grace Saccardo '86. Good passing and ball control by the threesome led to numerous scoring opportunities. Pine Manor's best defense was to kick the ball out of bounds. MIT got a lot of practice with corner kicks and throw-ins as a result.

MIT scored its first goal ten minutes into the game. A perfectly-executed crossing pass led to an easy goal for left-winger Eileen Murphy '89. MIT continued its pressure throughout the first half.

Coach Ladda used her whole bench. "We have 27 women here who are dedicated to playing soccer," Ladda said. No matter who was playing, the same aggressive, spirited style of play was MIT's trademark.

Irene Gregory '88 and Ikeda added two more MIT goals to give the Engineers a 3-0 haltime lead. The squad's 3-3-4 alignment (three fullbacks, three halfbacks and four forwards) seemed more like a 0-0-10 offense. The fullbacks played a crucial role in keeping the ball in the offensive zone. Kathy Lin '86, Sofia Merida '87, Jessamy Tang '89 and Charlotte Biber '89 were instrumental in clearing away potential Pine Manor scoring opportunities and setting up MIT scoring drives. As a result, goalie Kathryn Silvestri '88 had an easy half.

This year marks the first year of varsity women's soccer at MIT. Pine Manor is also a first-year team, and, in its contest against MIT, had only ten players. In addition to being shorthanded, the Pine Manor players must have been tired after trying to keep up with the Engineers potent attack.

Ladda mainly relied on second stringers in the second half. Not only did they fill their respective positions adequately, but they aided in scoring seven second-half goals. A few team members had never played soccer before this year. "The nice thing about [soccer] is that the first time out, you can have some level of success," Ladda noted.

Murphy, Ikeda and Saccardo added early second-half goals to up the scored to 6-0. MIT suffered its only setback at this point as a Pine Manor forward split the defense and beat Silvestri for the team's only goal.

The rest of the game was a continuation of MIT spirit, mainly carried out by Niki Pantelias '88 and Christy Alvord '89, who continued to put pressure on their opponents. Pantelias scored on an incredible turnaround shot, blasting it into the upper left corner of the net.

Alvord, after nearly scoring numerous times, finally put one home off a defender. Laura Finkelstein '87 and Angelina So '89 also scored to give MIT its 10-1 victory.

After losing to Brandeis Saturday, the team has a record of 6-6-1. The Engineers will play at Babson Thursday to complete their season.