For the second time this season, Olivia M. Struckman ’18 netted a pair of goals as the No. 20 MIT women’s soccer team wrapped up their regular season with a 3-0 victory over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Saturday, November 1 at Roberts Field at Steinbrenner Stadium in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play. With the win, MIT (14-3-2, 9-0-1 NEWMAC) clinched the top seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament and will host the semifinals and championship on Saturday, Nov. 8-9. Despite falling to 8-8-2 and 3-6-1, Coast Guard clinched the final conference tournament spot.
Struckman provided the hosts with the lead at 7:59 in the first half when she netted her ninth goal of the season following a cross from Faith C. OBrian ’15, who received a pass from Michelle Battipaglia ’15. Battipaglia located OBrian down the nearside wing, who then lofted a pass into the box toward Struckman, who then converted on the Cardinal and Gray’s initial shot of the match, which landed in the far right corner. Struckman, OBrian and Ambika M. Krishnamachar ’15 each attempted to grow Tech’s lead, but saw two shots sail wide and one attempt stopped by goaltender Holly Moore.
MIT, which led 1-0 at the break, extended their advantage roughly five minutes into the second half when Struckman fired home a cross from Krishnamachar at 50:01 in the middle of the Bears’ box for her 10th goal of the season. Jennifer R. Ibanez ’16 capped the Engineers’ scoring with her fourth goal of the year at 68:15 after receiving a pass from Krishnamachar on the nearside. Ibanez lifted her shot from roughly five yards outside the box over the fingertips of Moore. Coast Guard’s Caroline Eastman tried to put the visitors on the board with a shot from the far side outside the box at 79:25, which was blocked by Tech’s backline.
Tech outshot Coast Guard, 14-4, including 9-2 in the second stanza. MIT also held an advantage in corners, three to one. Lauren S. Ullmann ’17 picked up her 14th win between the pipes, stopping three shots, while Moore turned away four shots. Struckman led all players with four shots, while Eastman paced the Bears with two shots.
MIT wraps up the regular season with 14 wins, including 10 consecutive victories, a program record. Their 14 wins ties the 2001, 2011 and 2012 squads that also earned 14 victories too. Tech also pitched their 11th shutout, and are now two shy of the program record of 13.