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Wellesley College is first hurdle to women's soccer title defense

By Jordan J. Ditchek

The women's soccer team travels to Wellesley on Thursday to take on fourth-seeded Wellesley College in the opening round of the New England Women's Eight Conference Tournament. MIT, with an overall record of 4-7-2, and a NEW8 record of 1-5, is seeded fifth.

Head coach Suzan Rowe, pleased with the team's recent performance, is optimistic about the the tournament.

"The team looked great [last Thursday] against Brandeis College. We played the best ball that we've played all season," she said. Rowe added that she will emphasize fundamentals, such as precise one-touch passing, and demand more communication among her players on the field.

One setback that the team must overcome is the loss of co-captain Alyssa Parker '91 due to a leg injury that she sustained in the Brandeis game. The star fullback underwent a bone scan Friday at Mount Auburn Hospital, and the test revealed stress fractures in both femurs. Parker, who is also captain of the women's hockey team, will miss the entire soccer tournament and part of the hockey season as well.

Last year, the soccer team, winless in conference play during the regular season, pulled off three 1-0 victories in the post-season to shock the league and capture the championship. Asked about the chance of this year's squad accomplishing a similar feat, Coach Rowe responded, "This team has the potential to do anything they set their minds to."

For the Engineers, the road back to the championship leads from Wellesley to Brandeis, where the final rounds of the tournament will take place.