CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A hard-fought goal by junior Ben Lewis (West Hartford, Conn.) in the 21st minute stood up as the MIT men's soccer team defeated Salve Regina University, 1-0, in a non-conference men's soccer game on Wednesday afternoon. The victory snapped the Engineers' five-game losing skid and raised their record to 5-5-0 on the year while the Seahawks' ledger lowered to 5-6-1.
In the 18th minute, Salve Regina nearly opened the scoring on a breakaway by Sean McAllister but he was taken down outside the box on the near sideline. The ensuing free kick sailed over the goal, setting up what proved to be MIT's game-winning tally. Senior Max Stein-Golenbock (Boston, Mass.) found Lewis in the box who was swarmed by a defender and goalie Zachary Harlan. While battling for possession, Lewis managed to strike the ball into the open net as he fell to the ground. The Engineers almost extended their advantage a few minutes later, but Stein-Golenbock's 30-yard blast glanced off the top of the crossbar.
The Seahawks had three quality opportunities to register the equalizer in the first half, with a pair of attempts coming from McAllister. Chasing a bouncing ball on the edge of the box, he quickly tapped it upwards as senior goalie Dylan Rankin (Providence, R.I.) slid on the turf. However, Rankin grabbed the ball as it went over his head to preserve the slim lead. Shortly thereafter on a breakaway with two defenders pursuing him, McAllister unleashed a low shot which Rankin cleared away. With 4:56 remaining in the frame, McAllister's toss into the box from the nearside resulted in a scramble. With Rankin caught out of position, Christopher Knoth redirected the ball but it caromed off the inside of the near post and was ultimately cleared out by the defense.
The outstanding play by both goalies continued in the second stanza. In the 49th minute, Harlan quickly deflected a line drive by Lewis that was coming right at his head. Moments later, Rankin turned away a low shot by McAllister following a short corner kick. On the counterattack, Harlan made a diving save at the near post on a strike by sophomore Jonathan Tebes (Hamden, Conn.). Exactly 10 minutes after coming off the bench MIT freshman Samuel Cannon (Scarsdale, N.Y.) made a point-blank save on a blast by Patrick Charland.
With less than nine minutes remaining in regulation, senior Zach Kabelac (Potomac, Md.) unleashed a shot from the far side towards the near post. Harlan came off his line and made a diving stop with his right hand to keep Salve Regina within striking distance. The Seahawks' final chance to end the shutout came with 47 seconds on the clock when they were awarded a corner kick, but the Engineers' defense was impenetrable.
Rankin recorded three saves during the first 60 minutes of action while Cannon had one stop in relief. Harlan totaled four saves for the visitors.
Next up for both squads will be contests with conference foes on Saturday, Oct. 8. MIT will host NEWMAC rival Babson College while Salve Regina will visit TCCC opponent Gordon College.