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Soccer Club Beats Charles River

By Jonathan Elliott
Team Member

Last Saturday the graduate soccer club defeated the Charles River club, 21. This was a hard-fought but well-deserved victory for the MIT team members who are struggling to rediscover their form of the 1993 season, which brought them the Bay State Cup, third position in the Bay State First Division, and a playoff slot in the summer league.

The loss of several important players has resulted in MIT getting knocked out of the 1994 Bay State Cup competition (albeit to last year's runners-up and on penalties) and achieve a somewhat mediocre (by last year's standards) 631 record at this juncture, just past the halfway point in the 1994 Bay State First division. However, there is definitely a sense of things coming about for this team, especially after reaching the quarter-finals in the Summer League playoffs this year.

MIT came out strongly in the first half of Saturday's game. Several quick passing movements saw only the woodwork prevent MIT from taking the lead. First, Bashar Zeitoon G latched onto a cross from Grant Schaffner G on the left wing, but his carefully measured chip crashed against the crossbar with the goalkeeper hopelessly beaten.

Shortly afterwards, Pavel Volsbeyn G (who had come on for Rodrigo Capaz G) snuck through the Charles River defense to deftly send a header from another left-wing cross thudding against the foot of the right post. The rebound tantalizingly crossed the face of the goal inches from the line but stayed out.

MIT finally took the lead in the 32nd minute when a pass from the reintroduced Capaz was taken by Schaffner and struck on the half-volley from 25 yards out directly into the net, just inside the far post. The first half ended with MIT 10 up and well in control.

A defensive lapse in the 62nd minute resulted in a Charles River forward having a clear run on goal from just inside the MIT half. In spite of a valiant attempt by MIT goalie, Bobby Padera G, Charles River had equalized.

This development added a sense of urgency to MIT's play. A short pass from Capaz on the right gave Alex Pfaff G time to measure his cross and find Rich Stringfellow G unmarked at the far post.

Unfortunately Stringfellow's volley sailed just over the crossbar. There were a few scary moments at the MIT end of the field before the Techies grabbed the winner in the 79th minute. A corner from Capaz found Stringfellow at the far post. He headed the ball back to Schaffner and, with the goalkeeper hopelessly stranded past the far post after having failed in his attempt to retrieve the cross, Schaffner calmly slotted the ball just inside the post from 6 yards.

Attempts by Charles River to equalize in the dying minutes of the game proved to be futile with the MIT defense holding strong.

This was a fine start to the fall portion of the Spring/Fall Bay State League since Charles River, in the league's fourth position, was a tough opponent. However, with away games against Harvard and a match against last year's champions Canary Square just around the corner, the MIT club has its work cut out for itself.