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Field Hockey, in First Place, Set for NEW8 Tournament

Helen M. Lin--The Tech
Margaret C. Tsai '99 struggles against Mount Holyoke players in a scuffle at the goal in yesterday's NEW8 conference championship tournament game. MIT won, 3-0

By Wendla K. Silverberg
Team Member

The women's field hockey team beat Clark University Sunday afternoon in its last regular season game, putting the women in first place as they go into the NEW8 conference tournament.

[Yesterday, the women won the first round of the tournament, beating Mount Holyoke, 30.]

The Clark win brings the team to an unprecedented 121 record going into post-season play. This weekend, they will play in the conference championship tournament at Wellesley College, where they are looking to win the conference championship for the second year in a row.

Both teams were prepared to play hard to win. Clark was looking to maintain their perfect home field record and to improve their NEW8 conference ranking to second place, while MIT wanted the first-place ranking.

The Engineers started off strong and controlled play for most of the first half. They were not intimidated by Clark's strong and aggressive style of play. The first goal of the game came midway through the half during a scuffle in front of Clark's goal. Margaret C. Tsai '99 was able to take possession of the ball and put it in for MIT. This was Tsai's 10th goal of the season; she is one of the conference's top scorers.

MIT continued to pressure for the remainder of the half, with midfielder Katherine Merrilees '97 breaking up any attempts that Clark made at breaking away toward MIT's defensive end.

There was a lull in the Engineers' intensity early in the second half, and Clark took this opportunity to steal the momentum of the game. Despite an impressive effort by goalie Laura L. Walker '99, Clark tied the game at 1 goal apiece when forward and leading scorer Erica Brasile scored during a penalty corner with 18 minutes to go in the game.

This awoke the Engineers from their slump. The team immediately began an offensive push to regain the lead. They had to overcome both of their opponents and a home field crowd that was doing its best to motivate Clark to score again. MIT was up to the challenge and quickly began penetrating the Clark defense.

Forwards Patricia H. Hahn '96 and Stephanie M. Maifert '98 worked hard to move the ball up the left side of the field, and Ann L. Torres '96 was aggressive in the offensive circle. The Engineers finally found success by attacking from the right side.

The winning goal was scored with only three minutes to go when Maifert chipped in a cross pass from right wing Tracy M. Sadowski '99. Clark was not willing to admit defeat, however, and it took tough defensive play by defender Ellen Hwang '97 and midfielder Wendla K. Silverberg '96 to keep the game from going into overtime.