M. soccer tops Bates
By Marc Bailey
The men's soccer team outlasted Bates College Friday to claim a tension-filled, 5-3, double-overtime victory before several hundred fans at Steinbrenner Stadium.
In the first half, the Engineers experienced major concentration lapses. They were unable to connect on simple passes, and were weak defensively. Goalkeeper Chris Prince '92 made 11 saves in the game, and was the main reason MIT trailed only by a score of 2-0 at halftime.
Play was much more even after the break, and eventually MIT settled into its fast-paced attacking rhythm. In the 71st minute, senior forward Marc Bailey had a pass blocked by a Bates defender. The ball popped up in the air and Bailey drove it in past Bates goalie John Livens (eight saves) from 20 yards.
Twelve minutes later, co-captain Hannes Smarason '91 (Kent McCord '91 and Bailey, assists) evened the score, which remained at 2-2 until regulation time expired.
Only three minutes into the first 15-minute overtime period, Bates' Kip Van Valcenburgh scored. Bates thought it had the win, and retreated into a defensive stance to protect its lead.
The Engineers took advantage of their opponent's refusal to attack by pushing MIT defensive players into the offense. The strategy paid off for head coach Walter Alessi as Smarason capitalized on a loose ball in front of the Bates net to score his second goal of the match, unassisted, at 97:45.
In the second overtime period, Bailey (unassisted) scored off a blocked Stephan Feldgoise '92 shot at 103:51 for the go-ahead goal. Twenty-four seconds later it was Bailey scoring once more, unassisted, as he took a Smarason through ball 40 yards, with a defender on his trail, and slipped a shot past Livens to complete the hat trick and ensure the MIT win.
The victory should boost the Engineers, last ranked 13th out of 76 New England teams, into the top 10 on the New England Division III coaches' poll for the first time in recent history. MIT is 1-1 in the newly-formed Constitution Athletic Conference, in which Feldgoise and Bailey were the leading scorers as of last week, and is 3-2 overall.
MIT hosts Brandeis on Thursday at 3:30 pm at Steinbrenner Stadium.
(Marc Bailey '91 is a member of the men's soccer team.)