November 14, 2009

Field Hockey Falls to Tufts, 5-1, In NCAA Second Round

MEDFORD, Mass. - The MIT field hockey team dropped a 5-1 decision at the hands of nationally-ranked no. four Tufts University, in the Second Round of the NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday, bringing to an end the Engineers' record-breaking 2009 campaign. The Jumbos (17-1) jumped ahead early and held on to win the game, which was played in wet and windy conditions at Bello Field on the Tufts campus. Tech's season comes to a close with a final record of 18-5, the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Championship and the program's first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Tufts came out strong from the outset, scoring twice in the game's first three and a half minutes. Michelle Kelly tallied both goals for the hosts in a span of just 25 seconds. The Engineers recovered from the early shakiness and battled the Jumbos evenly for the next 26 minutes. Kameron Klauber had an opportunity to cut into the lead, following a penalty corner, but Tufts' goalkeeper, Marianna Zak, made an excellent save to keep Tech of the board. With just under five minutes to go in the frame, Kelly broke through again to complete her hat trick and send the game into the break at 3-0. 

Just under two minutes into the second period, Tamara Brown found Amanda Russo for her third assist of the day, having already earned helpers on two of Kelly's first-half goals. Molly McShane did finally find the back of the net with less than 12 minutes remaining, taking a pass from Kimberly Barker and putting the Cardinal and Grey into the scoring column. A late marker by Jess Perkins with 2:41 remaining would give Tufts its final, 5-1, margin.

NEWMAC All-Conference goalkeeper, Keri Dixon, made eight saves in the loss. Tufts had advantages of 21-13 in shots and 10-7 in penalty corners.

MIT set new program records for overall wins (18), consecutive wins (nine) and goals scored (79) in 2009 while capturing the program's first ever NEWMAC Championship. The Engineers' win over Nichols on Wednesday was their first ever win in the NCAA Tournament.