October 31, 2007

Clark Slips Past MIT, 2-1, in NEWMAC Quarterfinal

Oct. 31, 2007

Box Score

Courtesy Clark University Sports Information

WORCESTER, Mass. - Marc Labbe's 75th minute goal broke a 1-1 tie and lifted the No. 4 seed Clark University men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over No. 5 seed MIT in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) quarterfinal round game at Granger Field on Wednesday night. The Engineers concluded the season with a record of 9-5-2 in head coach Milton Gooding's first year at the helm, marking the team's best finish since 2004.

Clark (7-4-6) will face top-seed Wheaton College in the semifinals in Norton, Mass., on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10:30 a.m. No. 2 Babson College narrowly escaped No. 7 WPI by winning in penalty kicks, 3-1, in another first-round contest and will face No. 3 Springfield College, a 2-1 winner over No. 6 Coast Guard, that same day at Wheaton.

MIT took a 1-0 lead after senior Chris Desrochers' throw-in found freshman Christian Therkelsen out in front. The Norwegian rookie, who was the Cardinal and Gray's top-scorer in 2007 with eight goals, dribbled through two defenders and fired a shot over Clark keeper Peter Wise and into the far right corner in the 13th minute.

Clark searched for the equalizer and had a strong chance to tie it up, but senior forward David Blum pushed a shot wide of the right post with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half. Sophomore Devin Weafer knotted the score at one apiece when he put Lino Goncalves' cross into the top right corner of the net in the 38th minute. The left-footed defender took a few touches on the left side and drilled a shot from 25 yards out to keep Clark in the game. Junior Mike Trobagis had a chance to extend Clark's lead before the break, but his header sailed over the net with just under three minutes remaining in the half.

Both teams had strong scoring chances early in the second stanza, but neither could find the back of the net. First-year Kyle Klapp's break-away shot was smothered by MIT goalie Tom Caldwell, while a bid by Tech senior Chase Lochmiller bounced off the crossbar minutes later.

The Cougars scored the go-ahead goal when Labbe broke in alone just under 30 minutes into the second frame. Returning to the game after a first-half illness, Labbe beat an MIT defender at midfield and scored his team-leading 10th goal of the season with a rocket to the top left corner.

Wise came up big for Clark in the waning minutes as he turned aside a shot by senior Mike Allshouse with 11:47 remaining and later stopped consecutive attempts following a scramble in front of the net with under a minute left to play.

Each keeper stopped five shots, with four of Wise's and all five of Caldwell's saves occurring in the second half.