Oct. 21, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior co-captain Ryan Sheffler netted a hat-trick for the Engineers on Saturday afternoon at Steinbrenner Stadium, but it wasn't enough for Tech to overcome New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference foe Springfield, ultimately falling, 4-3. The loss drops MIT to 5-9-0 on the season, including an 0-5 mark in the NEWMAC. The Pride improved to 5-10-2 overall and 2-4 in conference play.
The match was the Engineers' final regular season home game of the 2006 campaign. They finished the year with a 4-5 record on home turf, including a 2-3 record on their recent five game home stand.
Springfield wasted no time in making its mark on the game, taking the lead just over two minutes into the contest. Colin Cook sent a driven cross into the area which Tony Distasio brought down and finished for the 1-0 lead.
Tech responded just over 20 minutes later, however, when Sheffler's floated free kick from well outside the area fooled everyone and ended up finding a home in the top corner of the net.
The score remained deadlocked into the half, but the second stanza was to bring much more excitement.
Sheffler converted a penalty kick in the 56th minute to give MIT a 2-1 lead, but Distasio added his second of the game and fourth of the season in the 68th minute to knot the game at 2-2. Tech took the lead once again in the 71st minute when Sheffler completed his hat-trick after being played through on goal by Nitin Perumbeti. It was the Beaumont, Texas native's team-leading seventh tally of the season.
However, Springfield bounced back once again, leveling the score through Adrian Schippers in the 81st minute. Jeremy Scheer contributed with an assist.
Schippers then added his second - his seventh of the season - in the 83rd minute to give the Pride the 4-3 lead. The goal would ultimately prove to be the game-winner.
Sophomore goalkeeper Tom Caldwell made six saves for the Engineers in the losing effort, while Ryan Driscoll made three stops for Springfield.
Sheffler's hat-trick came on a day in which he was one of three seniors honored for Tech on senior recognition day. Dylan Wright and Alex Morgan, along with Sheffler, were playing in the final regular season home games of their MIT careers.
The Cardinal and Gray next takes the field on Tuesday, Oct. 24, when it travels to UMass Boston in a match that will kick off at 3:30 p.m. Springfield will conclude its regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 25, when it will travel to Western Connecticut at 7:00 p.m.