Women’s Soccer Crumbles in Match against TuftsBy Ming-Tai Huh
ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR
The women’s soccer team challenged the Division III sixth-ranked Tufts University in a friendly scrimmage, but the game was far from friendly. MIT was squashed thoroughly 10-1, after a snail-like start turned into a brutal 7-0 first-half shutout. MIT was clearly overwhelmed by the speed and precision passing of their opponents-the Engineers controlled possession for only 25 percent of the time.
Before the game, Assistant Coach Rodney Dittenhafer said, “They have lots of potential. Tufts is a very good team; let’s hope for the best and be humble.”
Potential? Well, I think that MIT could have mustered up a better showing than a 7-0 first half. Someone sure has the early season jitters.
The timid Engineers gave up plenty of 50/50 balls without a challenge. When they eventually gained possession, some players didn’t know what to do next. The result was turnover by getting it taken away or just kicking the ball in a random direction.
Now, now, the game wasn’t over until it actually ended. The second half was remarkably better. As Head Coach Melissa Hart said at halftime, “The first half is over, the score is 0-0 now.”
The players reacted well to the no-pressure situation and produced some offense in the 67th minute. Sarah Perlmutter ’02, assisted by fellow sophomore Jennifer Fiumara, placed a nice chip over the Tufts goalkeeper to put the Engineers on the board.
Unfortunately MIT ran out of gas from the full-time defense of the first half and solid hustle second half. Tufts outplayed MIT, leading to three unanswered goals due to defensive breakdown.
Yes, we were outmatched, but playing tougher competition is what makes a team better. On the upside, the outlook on the Engineers’ league play has a great future. The scrimmage versus Tufts truly was a win-win situation. Stats such as one goal for and ten goals against don’t sound good, but who cares when they don’t count.
Recommendation from the outside point of view: don’t be intimidated by higher ranked teams. Not surprisingly, MIT doesn’t hold up well in rankings with other schools. But rankings don’t mean a thing when the whistle begins the match or game. The score is 0-0 and all things are up for grabs. Play to win.