Kickers lose bid for title
By Alyssa Parker
The women's soccer team's season ended with a 3-0 loss last Thursday to Wellesley College in the opening round of the New England Women's Eight Conference tournament. The Engineers, who finished the regular season with a 4-8-3 record, thus failed in their quest to repeat as NEW8 champions.
In last year's tournament,
last-seeded MIT was the upset tournament champion.
Wellesley and MIT faced very low temperatures on Thursday afternoon, but started out strong despite the cold. The opponent kept MIT very active by forcing the Engineers to play tough defense, particularly in covering Teppi Hawkins, one of two Wellesley players who had been voted to the All-Conference team.
Due to Sameera Iyengar '93's excellent coverage, Hawkins managed to get off only a few shots, and was denied any scoring opportunity.
When it became obvious that Hawkins would not be able to contribute directly to Wellesley's offense, teammate Liza Janssen took control. The six-foot, one-inch forward was very aggressive and strong throughout the whole 90 minutes of the game.
Janssen all-but single-handedly advanced Wellesley to the tournament's semifinal round, scoring all of Wellesley's goals.
The first score came with 22 minutes left in the first half, as Janssen buried a cross off a corner kick to give Wellesley the lead it would never relinquish.
In response to Wellesley's attack, the Engineers continued playing hard, but now seemed to be going to the ball and creating opportunities for themselves. Passes were connecting and the intensity rose as a result. Forwards Annette Lee '92 and Teresa Chieu '94 played aggressively to test Wellesley's defense.
Wellesley managed to capitalize on a lapse in MIT's intensity as Janssen scored her second goal with a minute left in the first half.
The second half began much like the first, yet both teams seemed to have lost a little energy. Janssen continued to test MIT's defense, scoring her third and final goal with 3:54 to go in the game. The shot, taken from well outside the penalty area, was a goalkeeper's nightmare, a lofty, upper-corner ball.
Although it could not completely shut down Wellesley's offense, MIT's defense was solid and showed much poise and composure. Co-captains Vanessa Feliberti '91 and Azza Idris '91, Kristin Berry '93, and Christine Coffey '91 all had solid performances on the defensive end. Goalkeeper Meg O'Neill '93 had a great game as well, and showed moments of brilliance in cutting off angles and coming out to smother Wellesley attacks.
In the off-season MIT will train by playing in various indoor tournaments throughout the winter and early spring.
(Alyssa Parker '91 is a member of the women's soccer team.)