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Soccer Defeats WPI, Wellesley, Loses NEWMAC Semifinal Match

By Sarah Perlmutter

TEAM CO-CAPTAIN

The women’s soccer team improved its record to 14-5 with three impressive victories and one loss in the past two weeks.

MIT began the week ranked tenth in the New England Division III polls, but hoped to improve on that with a few quality victories.

On Saturday the 20th, MIT traveled to Wellesley College to take on the Blue on a spectacular fall day. The game started with excellent play on both sides of the field, and the game remained scoreless at halftime.

That all changed in the second half though, as Wellesley got on the board first. Ten minutes later, the MIT offense got going, as Lydia A. Helliwell ’05 converted a Rebecca E. Clinton ’03 corner kick for the first Tech goal.

A short time later, after a lengthy scramble in front of the Wellesley net, Shirley Chan ’04 finally booted the ball into the back of the net to put MIT ahead 2-1.

Despite sound play from the entire defense and keeper Connie Yang ’03, Wellesley was able to score one more goal before the end of regulation, and the game went into sudden death overtime knotted at two.

Feeling that the momentum was on their side, MIT kept relentlessly attacking the Wellesley net. Five minutes into overtime, Sarah E. Mendelowitz ’03 blasted a shot from the right side of the net past the keeper, giving MIT their first victory over Wellesley in several years.

With the win, MIT ended the regular season in third place in the conference with a 6-3 record.

MIT downs WPI 2-1

Last Wednesday, MIT hosted sixth seed WPI in their quarterfinal game of the NEWMAC tournament.

Seeking revenge for an earlier season loss, MIT came out hard and drew first blood 10 minutes in when Czechao N. Tam ’02 dribbled past three defenders on the left side and slid a hard shot past the goalie on the near post.

WPI was able to take advantage of a momentary lapse in the MIT defense, and put one in before the end of the half.

Realizing that their season would be over if they didn’t win, MIT came out fired up in the second half. Tech struck again, as Tam scored her second goal of the game off a Monica F. Morrison ’04 throw-in.

Up 2-1, MIT kept the pressure on, but was unable to put any more past the strong WPI keeper.

With inspiring play throughout the half as well as excellent team defending, MIT was able to hold the lead this time and take a 2-1 victory.

The victory was the 13th on the season for Tech, and broke the record for wins in a season.

MIT loses in NEWMAC Semifinal

On Saturday, MIT traveled to Wheaton to take on second seed Springfield College in a semifinal match.

Looking for retribution after an early season loss, MIT came out focused, and gained an early lead when Morrison buried a penalty shot.

Tech was able to hold on to the 1-0 lead at halftime, but were unable to stop the Springfield offense, which netted two goals in the second half to take a 2-1 victory.

MIT downs WPI in ECAC

Fortunately, the Engineers’ season was not over, as they were rewarded with a fourth seed in the ECAC tournament. MIT hosted WPI for the third time this season on a cold Wednesday afternoon.

MIT came out firing, and was able to convert on an Evan J. Pruitt ’05 corner kick. Morrison headed it across, and Chan knocked it in for the first goal.

Early in the second half, WPI scored to knot the game at one. Knowing they were the superior Engineers, MIT started to pick up the play, and got two quick goals on headers from Mendelowitz. A header by Kelli A. Griffin ’03 assisted the first, and the second came off a Joanna M. Natsios ’05 corner kick.

MIT wasn’t done yet, as Sarah K. Perlmutter ’02 blasted a shot into the upper left corner from a pass by Sheila E. Saroglou ’03 fifteen minutes later.

WPI put one more in before the final whistle, bringing the final score to 4-2.

MIT moves on to the semifinal match on Saturday to play the winner of Wednesday’s Keene State vs. Anna Maria match.

Three MIT players were recently named to the NEWMAC All-Conference team, as Griffin, Morrison, and co-captain Clinton were elected to the squad. Coach Melissa Hart was awarded with Coach of the Year honors for leading the team to third in the conference, the highest finish ever for MIT.