– Records: No. 13 MIT (16-1-0, 8-0-0 NEWMAC), Springfield College (12-4-0, 6-2-0 NEWMAC)
– Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Roberts Field at Steinbrenner Stadium)
– The Lead: Powered by three goals in the second half, the No. 13 nationally-ranked MIT women’s soccer team shutout Springfield College, 4-0, in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest on Saturday afternoon in Cambridge. With the victory, the Engineers clinch their sixth straight NEWMAC Regular Season title, get a first round bye and will host the upcoming postseason tournament on November 4 and 5.
Prior to the game, MIT honored the class of 2018 comprised of Olivia Struckman (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Jane Fessenden (Orinda, Calif.), Jacqueline Simmons (Houston, Texas), Julia Goupil (Los Altos, Calif.) and Jillian Dressler (Harrison, N.Y.) in a senior day ceremony at midfield.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
– Struckman got MIT on the board first with her tenth goal of the season when sophomore Emily Berzolla (Riverside, Conn.) crossed the ball to her feet as she drove into the box. The senior poked it into the left corner of the net for the 1-0 lead 18-minutes into the game. Over the final 26:41 of the opening stanza, the Engineers held Springfield to two shots – both of which went wide – to hold the advantage at the break.
– Just 1:26 into the second half, Struckman notched her second goal of the game and 11th of the year on a double-assisted goal by junior Shannon Miller (Pittsford, N.Y.) and freshman Maya Nielan (Danville, Calif.). Miller chipped the ball from 30 yards out into the box to Nielan, who played it on one touch to Struckman for the 2-0 lead.
– In the 75th minute, Miller registered her first goal of the season when sophomore Claire O’Callaghan (Sherborn, Mass.) crossed the ball from the far side of the field to a waiting Miller, who rocketed the ball into the upper half of the net over the hands of Springfield keeper Ciara Boucher.
– Springfield’s Aly Morell was awarded a free kick at the top of the box with 10:10 left in the game as the Pride attempted to cut into MIT’s lead. Morell lined up for the shot, but MIT keeper Lily Mueller (Lakeville, Minn.) leapt and punched the ball over the crossbar to preserve the shutout.
– The Engineers added one more goal before the final horn sounded as MIT claimed the NEWMAC match by a 4-0 final. With 3:32 to play, Struckman crossed the ball through the box to Dressler, who found a wide open Amy Apostol (Los Gatos, Calif.). Apostol drilled the ball into the right side of the net for her ninth goal of the year on the double-assisted goal, MIT’s second of the day.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
– The victory secured MIT’s sixth straight NEWMAC regular season championship and hosting rights for the upcoming postseason tournament. The Engineers will receive a first round bye and play the winner of the No. 4/No. 5 match on Saturday, November 4 at a time to be determined later.
– The Engineers came into today’s match, ranked No. 2 in the first NCAA Division III New England Regional Rankings, No. 9 in the latest D3soccer.com national poll and No. 13 in the latest United Soccer Coaches Division III national poll.
– Mueller made three saves for the Engineers to improve to 15-1-0 this fall and picked up her fourth shutout of the campaign, while Boucher (12-4-0) stopped the ball eight times for the Pride.
– MIT outshot Springfield by an 18-7 margin and held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks.
– Berzolla’s assist marked her 14th of the season, Nielan and O’Callaghan tallied their third assists of the year and Miller, Dressler and Struckman dished out their second helpers of the campaign. Thus far this season, MIT has registered 55 assists on its 64 goals, one shy of tying the program record, which was set back in 2001. The Engineers are also two goals from tying the single season record for goals (66), which was also set during the 2001 season.
– MIT plays in its final regular season home game on Tuesday, October 24 when the Engineers host WPI in a rematch of last year’s NEWMAC title game at 4:00 p.m., while Springfield heads to Wheaton College for a conference match with the Lyons on the same day at 4:00 p.m.
SOURCE: MIT Athletics Press Release