Following a shaky start, the MIT Engineers were able to overpower Smith College 9-3 on Saturday to win their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) lacrosse game of the season. A little over three minutes into the game, Smith’s Becky Bracken put the Pioneers on the board, giving them a 1-0 lead which stood for ten minutes, until MIT’s Kaitlyn L. Nealon ’14, assisted by Erica W. Little ’11, managed to tie the score.
Although they came into the game with a better record than Smith, it took until late in the first half for the Engineers to take control. MIT’s Katie M. Kauffman ’12 scored two goals on free-positions and Little scored another, bringing the score to 4-1. The Engineers only gave up one more goal in the first half, from Smith’s Sofia Nakhnikian-Weintraub, leaving the score at 4-2 going into halftime.
The second half started off with almost 15 minutes of scoreless play. The stalemate ended at 16:42 with MIT’s Laura M. Wacker ’13 finding the space past Smith’s goalie, Meredith Kallfelz. This started a three-goal spurt, with Molly E. McShane ’13 and Little scoring within three minutes of each other. Bracken scored once more for the Pioneers, and Little and Kelly Duncan ’11 placed two more shots for a final score of 9-3.
MIT’s Sarah E. Ritter ’14 had an amazing 13 saves, keeping the Pioneers at bay throughout the game. Both teams were even in draw controls and ground balls, but the Engineers had more shots and fewer turnovers than Smith. The Engineers are confident looking ahead to more conference games against teams such as Babson and Springfield. Their next game is this Saturday against Mount Holyoke College, and their next home game is Saturday, April 9 against the University of Southern Maine at 4 p.m.