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Canadry Deals Grad Soccer a 3-1 Blow

By Malcolm Quinn
Team Member

The MIT Graduate Soccer Club went down 31 to Canary Square on Saturday.

Clearly thinking about their championship race with Lexington, team members seemed robbed of their signature confidence and fluidity. The loss seriously jeopardizes the team's bid for the league title.

A tense start by MIT was temporarily relieved after 15 minutes when it scored the first and somewhat lucky goal. A high ball lobbed into the Canary goalmouth was mishandled by the keeper, bobbled free, and was poked home by an unattended MIT striker.

This tension-breaker appeared to restore some of MIT's confidence. The MIT supporters were also relieved and celebrated on the sidelines. But their celebrations were short-lived.

Five minutes later Canary Square was awarded a free kick inside MIT's penalty box. A log jam of players crowded the goalmouth for the shot, which was blocked, rebounding from the MIT wall.

But the ball was only partially cleared and flew to a Canary midfielder who volleyed it back at the goal. Meanwhile the MIT defensive line had cleared too soon, and with unerring accuracy the ball sailed straight to the spot where an MIT defender had stood only moments before and into the back of the net. Unsighted, goalkeeper Bobby Padera G had no chance.

The initial edginess of MIT's game returned and went unrelieved for the remaining 70 minutes of play. Though MIT dominated possession, they could not consummate any of the opportunities they created. Rarely has there been such a palpable sense of anxiety at an MIT match.

Constantly pressing deep into the Canary half, MIT players at times seemed to clog the goalmouth in their eagerness to score, and so denied themselves the space necessary to produce a goal. Overextending, they became vulnerable to a Canary counterattack.

Such a breakaway occurred 20 minutes into the second half when the ball, seemingly out of play by more than a foot, was kicked in again by a Canary winger. The referee allowed play to continue, despite the vehement protests of MIT players and sideline spectators.

While the argument continued, the winger drove the ball low and hard across the MIT goal, past two defenders, and onto the boot of a waiting Canary striker, who plugged it home.

Increasingly desperate, MIT pulled their defenders in the dying moments of the game and inserted more forwards, but another Canary breakaway clinched the match at 31.

The team is still in the hunt for the league championship. The Engineers will certainly recover from this loss - and hopefully have learned from it - but must win their remaining two games against lower ranked teams.

In its final home game, MIT will play Black Rose on the turf tomorrow at 11 a.m. Fans are encouraged to come and cheer the team on.