The MIT women’s soccer team defeated Clark University 1-0 on Tuesday afternoon at Steinbrenner Stadium, scoring its only goal on an Amy S. Ludlum ’08 shot just 31 seconds into the game. Though the statistics sheet credited Jean E. “Liz” Theurer ’10 as providing the only assist, Ludlum also received a boost from a strong wind that fortified her 35-yard shot. What looked to be an easy save for Cougars goalkeeper Joanna Clark turned into an unexpected game-winner.
The victory improved MIT’s record to 7-3-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, good for a second-place tie in the NEWMAC standings. Ludlum’s goal was her conference-leading 14th of the year and tied her for an even more impressive feat: MIT’s all-time record for career goals (48). With six regular-season games and the NEWMAC tournament still remaining, Ludlum seems a good bet to break the record.
MIT and Clark (4-5-2, 1-2-0 NEWMAC) has had a history of close games, as the last five games had been determined by one-goal margins. After Ludlum’s quick strike, the Engineers and Cougars continued the tradition by splitting possession time evenly.
One of the game’s themes was Ludlum blasting strong left-footed crosses that her teammates were unable to put away. On several occasions, her crosses actually bounced through the penalty box. Another trend was Tech goalkeeper Stephanie V. Brenman ’09 dominating the air and snaring Clark corner kicks en route to recording a shutout.
Both teams wasted scoring opportunities. The prettiest play of the game resulted after Theurer’s pass to Ludlum in the 82nd minute. Ludlum raced down the left flank, launching a shot to the far post that appeared to be a sure goal. However, Clark dove sideways, managing to turn away the ball with her left hand that led to an uneventful Tech corner kick.
The Cougars’ best chance was midfielder Kari Mruz’s shot in the 75th minute, which had Brenman beat but just barely cleared the crossbar. Clark also put plenty of pressure on the Engineers’ defense for the last five minutes in launching a few dangerous shots, but to no avail.
Tech will travel to New London, Conn. for today’s conference match against Coast Guard, which starts at 7:30 p.m.