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Boston Weather: 38.0°F | A Few Clouds

Men's Soccer Beats Norwich 2-1

By Erik S. Balsley
Associate Sports Editor

On Saturday, with winds that would make a hurricane proud, the men's soccer team faced a strong Norwich University. The Engineers won the game 21 in an exciting overtime finish.

The wind, which built up throughout the day, had become a persistent slight crosswind by the time the game began. The wind made play difficult at times, causing the ball behave rather differently from the players' intentions.

During the first half, MIT was playing with the wind and kept up a strong offensive against Norwich. The Engineers had 18 shots at goal. However, Norwich was the first team to score, at 42:41 into the half.

MIT kept up its offense, however, and drove through Norwich's defense to score 44:50 into the half. The team had the goal surrounded, and Jarrod Beglinger '98 shot the ball past the goalie to tie the score at 11.

The second half of the game was scoreless. But the half proved far from uneventful as the aggressive Norwich team managed to blur the lines of fair play.

At times it looked as if Norwich had left their boxing gloves back in Vermont. Some of their moves left those in the stands confused at how the game was being refereed.

As an indication of the roughness, four yellow cards were issued during the game. Of those, three were received by Norwich and one by Andres Villaquiran '97.

In addition, two penalty kicks were called during the second half of the game. At 12:10 into the half, Thomas Barber '97 took the first penalty kick for MIT. The kick was saved by the Norwich goalie. The other penalty kick called 31:50 into the half was called against MIT and was saved by goalie Raja Jindal G.

As regulation time play ended in a tie, two 15 minute overtime quarters were played. MIT managed to dominate play during these quarters.

In the first quarter, MIT's strong offensive line pushed toward the Norwich goal, allowing Howjwn Mou '00 to pass the ball to Fito Louis '00, who scored a goal, bringing the score to 21.

With the lead, MIT's defensive line kicked into high gear to prevent Norwich from getting near the MIT goal. When the defense was not able to get the ball away from the MIT goal, good goalkeeping by Jindal prevented Norwich from scoring at all during overtime.

Despite the roughness, MIT was able to play win the game 21. Coach Walter Alessi said that this game shows that the team can and needs to play more aggressively against a team like this to win.

Looking at the overall statistics for the game, the strength of the Engineers is clear. During the game, MIT had 42 shots on goal opposed to 17 for Norwich. MIT saved six of these shots, while Norwich saved 12.

The team has its next home game against Babson College today at 3:30 p.m. in Steinbrenner Stadium.