November 16, 2013

Engineers Fall to No. 24 Western New England at First Round of NCAAs

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - After dominating possession in the first half of the game, the MIT men's soccer team fell to No. 24 Western New England University, 2-0, in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Tournament at Williams College on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Bears will move on to the second round tomorrow, playing the winner of the Williams College/Elms College matchup, while the Engineers ended their season with a record of 13-5-2.

MIT took control of the ball immediately, wreaking havoc on goalkeeper Domenick Villano right from the beginning. Tech took nine shots at the Western New England net before the Golden Bears got their first touch, a shot saved by sophomore goalie Jake Amereno (Commack, N.Y.). MIT's best shot at a goal came at the 17th minute when freshman Kareem Itani (Dallas, Texas) sent a rocket at the net, but Villano was able to make the save and keep the score locked at zero.

The Cardinal and Gray took many more shots throughout the half, outshooting Western New England, 18-3, but the Golden Bears' defense always managed to get in the way. Junior Nicholas Diamantoni (Boca Raton, Fla.) led the charge throughout the entire first half, taking four shots, but only one of them needed to be saved by Villano.

Still scoreless at the start of the second half, the game started to unfold soon after the two teams returned to the field. At 60:14, Ryan Williams took a shot at net that was saved by Amereno, with the ball deflecting out of the box. Kevin Parma took advantage of the deflection, tucking home the rebound to put Western New England on the board. With a one goal lead and just 30 minutes left on the clock, the Golden Bears became extremely defensive-minded, blocking any and every shot on goal.

Just minutes after the first goal was scored, Tech had two good, back-to-back opportunities at a goal, but both were blocked. Itani took the first shot, firing directly at the net and to the opposite side of the goal from which Villano was standing, but Colin Macdonald positioned himself in the empty cage to block the shot. The deflected ball was sent to senior Matthew Monheit (Abington, Pa.), who booted the ball at the net but it was Macdonald, once again, who prevented the goal. After MIT was down two men following two red cards, Western New England scored an insurance goal in the 86th minute off a penalty kick. With one last shot by junior Chester Chambers (Columbia, Md.), which was blocked, the game ended.

MIT outshot Western New England, 28-10, with both Villano and Amereno having to make five saves apiece. Monheit, Diamantoni and Itani each took five shots, with three of Itani's having to be saved.