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Defense Key to Field Hockey Win Over Wheaton

By Mindy Brauer

Strong defensive play down the stretch helped MIT field hockey seal its 3-2 win over Wheaton College in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference field hockey game on Tuesday night. With the win, the Engineers improved to 6-10 on the year and 3-5 in conference play while the Lyons fell to 13-6 overall and 5-3 in the NEWMAC.

Wheaton controlled the ball for the majority of the first half as MIT did not manage a shot on goal until halfway through the frame. The Engineers quickly followed up on their first attempt by converting their second shot to take a 1-0 lead.

Coming off a side hit, Annamaria E. Ayuso ’07 collected the ball and found Lauren L. McCarthy ’08 who sent her shot to the far post. Tech maintained its slim 1-0 advantage through the intermission.

The Lyons capitalized on their eighth penalty corner of the game for the equalizer in the 43rd minute. After receiving the ball from Alisa Ardito, Sara Dimick made several touches and then sent it to Alex Block for the goal.

Wheaton continued to attack, but Cristina Stefanescu put MIT ahead 2-1 with an unassisted goal at the 51:39 mark.

The Engineers maintained their momentum during the next 10 minutes as they extended their lead to 3-1. Ayuso initiated a fastbreak and then set up Amanda P. Hunter ’07 for what proved to be the game-winning goal.

Wheaton quickly cut its deficit in half when Ardito knocked in the rebound of Dimick’s shot with 7:14 remaining in regulation.

MIT’s defense was relentless during the final minutes as it thwarted any scoring opportunities for the Lyons. In net, Alexa C. Herman ’08 collected eight saves for MIT while Mary Catherine Boll made five stops for Wheaton.

Both squads will compete in the NEWMAC Championship Tournament quarterfinal round on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 1:00 p.m. with pairings and locations to be determined.