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Women’s Soccer off to 3-0 Start

Engineers Defeat Tufts, Fitchburg State, and Eastern Nazarene

By Melissa Hart

TEAM COACH

The MIT Women’s Soccer team tore through the first week of their season. After stunning the pre-season top ranked team in New England, Tufts University, 3-1 in a scrimmage match, they then tallied two decisive victories over non-conference opponents Fitchburg State College and Eastern Nazarene College.

On Tuesday, September 4, MIT faced the 2000 National Tournament runner up, Tufts University in Medford, Mass. Midway through the first half, Kelli A. Griffin ’03 opened up the scoring by finishing a corner kick from team co-captain Rebecca E. Clinton ’03. Griffin has been MIT’s top scorer over the past two seasons.

A Tufts striker answered with an unassisted goal off the second half kickoff, tying the match 1-1. Soon thereafter Sarah E. Mendelowitz ’03 found forward Candace N. Wilson ’04 in the penalty box. Wilson targeted the back of the net as she fought off a Tufts defender. Within ten minutes Wilson scored again after beating a defender one on one and finishing with a shot past the goalkeeper.

The outstanding play of goalkeeper Connie Yang ’03 frustrated Tufts in the first half, as she had 11 saves for the Engineers. MIT’s Noelani K. Kamelamela ’05 added six more saves in the second half, continuing Tufts’ lament.

The result, although it will not count towards MIT’s record, could be a harbinger of good things to come for the 2001 season.

MIT takes opener at home

On Thursday, September 6, the Engineers opened their regular season with a home game against visiting Fitchburg State. Though it took fifteen minutes or so for MIT to settle in, they moved the ball adeptly around the pitch and out of the reach of the chasing Fitchburg players.

It is no big surprise that Griffin scored the first goal of the season for MIT, as she connected off a corner kick from co-captain Sarah K. Perlmutter ’02.

Eight minutes later, midfielder Monica F. Morrison ’04 scored in an unorthodox fashion. Though a throw-in is indirect and a team cannot score directly from it, Morrison’s mighty throw found the goal off of a unwitting Fitchburg defender. As if to prove she could indeed finish a goal without any help from Fitchburg, Morrison scored again less than a minute later. Morrison beat a number of defenders on the dribble before her placement past the keeper.

The score at halftime was 3-0 in favor of the Engineers. Yang recorded three saves for the Engineers in the first half, and the solid defensive play of the back unit of Paola B. Nasser G, Clinton, and Lydia A. Helliwell ’05 and Airis Yonekura ’05 held so strong the keepers saw no more action in the game.

The second half scoring was opened in a moment of dÉjÀ vu, as Griffin found another Perlmutter corner. This goal was different from their first connection, however, as Griffin’s finishing touch was a driven header.

The scoring was rounded out by Helliwell’s first collegiate goal as she blasted a low ball through a seemingly impenetrable mass of players on the ground. The final score read 5-0 in MIT’s favor.

Engineers beat Eastern Nazarene

Saturday MIT traveled south on 93 to Quincy to face Eastern Nazarene College. From the first whistle, MIT controlled play by passing the ball swiftly around the field and hammering the Eastern Nazarene goal. Despite the constant barrage of shots, the Eastern Nazarene goalkeeper’s solid play, coupled with a number of MIT near misses, kept the game scoreless until the 22nd minute. Griffin put in a rebound off of a Perlmutter shot that ricocheted off the post to score the first goal of the match.

Although MIT still controlled play, they did not score again until almost 20 minutes later, when Wilson and Joanna M. Natsios ’05 took a quick corner kick before the Crusaders’ defense was organized. Griffin was, as always, alert and in the right place to volley Natsios’s shot into the net.

Less than a minute later and with only a few minutes left in the half, Mendelowitz gathered a lovely through ball from Morrison to score the third and final goal of the half.

The second half scoring for the Engineers began early, as Morrison dribbled by a pair of defenders on her way to scoring MIT’s fourth goal in the second minute of the half.

Ten minutes later, Cze-Chao Tam ’02 lead Perlmutter with a well served pass into the box. Perlmutter finished just out of the goalkeeper’s reach at the lower far post. Another ten minutes later, the favor was returned to Tam from Mendelowitz, as Mendelowitz sent a through ball that Tam shot past the keeper’s near post.

Stephanie A. Claussen ’05 would soon punctuate the scoring with MIT’s seventh and final goal as she hustled to receive a well placed cross from Katrien Brak ’05. Claussen then staved off a defender and rocketed a shot the keeper could not handle.

The MIT defense held strong all game, and didn’t allow any shots on the MIT goal. The final score was 7-0 MIT. MIT goes into the second week of the season with a 2-0 record.