CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Kimberly Barker (Camden, N.Y.) and junior Molly Duffy (New Providence, N.J.) both tallied two goals and an assist to lead the nationally-ranked No. 20 MIT field hockey team to a 7-1 win over New England College on Friday afternoon. Junior Kristen O'Connell (Melrose, Mass.) provided the lone tally for the Pilgrims while junior netminder Courtney Duquette (Enfield, N.H.) amassed 26 saves and classmate Jaclyn Papagni (Lynnfield, Mass.) compiled nine defensive saves. The contest marked the eighth time in nine years both squads have met for their season-opener as the Engineers picked up their fourth straight victory.
Sophomore Elizabeth Dethy (Morristown, N.J.) generated two goals for the hosts while freshman Molly McNamara (Auburn, Mass.) earned a pair of assists, the last resulting in a goal for classmate Morgan Gulliver (Stamford, Conn.). In net, sophomore Jenna Klein (Parma, Ohio) turned away one shot in 43 minutes of action as freshman Evie Kyritsis (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) closed out the game with two saves.
MIT wasted little time in testing Duquette as it put a pair of shots on goal inside the first minute of play. The Pilgrims then controlled the ball during the next three minutes with their best attempt at getting on the board coming on a strike by senior Jennifer Adams (Brimfield, Mass.) that caused Klein to make a diving save at the far post.
The Engineers replied with a barrage of shots, resulting in eight stops by Duquette and a defensive save from senior Alicia Bartosik (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.). Following a penalty corner, junior Maddy Wharton's (Swarthmore, Pa.) strike was kicked away by Duquette. However, Duffy gathered the rebound and found Barker for the tally in the 14th minute. The Cardinal and Gray quickly extended its lead to 3-0 over the course of the next five minutes with Barker finding the back of the net and then setting up Duffy for what proved to be the final goal of the half.
MIT continued to attack in the second stanza but Duquette was up to the task as she picked up four saves in the first three minutes, including a diving swat at Dethy's penalty stroke. Just over a minute later, junior Erin Kenney (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) unleashed a shot that was kicked away by Duquette but Duffy immediately redirected the rebound for her second tally of the day. Despite a pair of defensive saves from Pagani, Dethy managed to sneak a shot from the near side which hit the far post and bounced into the cage in the 43rd minute.
NEC countered by ending the shutout 53 seconds later when it capitalized on action following a penalty corner. Senior Rachel Carnaroli (Bellingham, Mass.) put the ball into play and after a scramble in front of the cage freshman Cody Kent (Rye, N.H.) found O'Connell for the marker. The Pilgrims nearly added another goal in the 53rd minute when senior Kate Roberge (Essex Junction, Vt.) found herself in a one-on-one breakaway, but Kyritsis dove to the far side for the save.
McNamara helped the Engineers close out the scoring by setting up Dethy and Gulliver in the 55th and 60th minutes, respectively. NEC was awarded a trio of penalty corners late in the game with its best chance on net coming on the final attempt which resulted in a shot from Carnaroli that was ultimately stopped by Kyritsis.
MIT concludes its homestand on Saturday, Sept. 1 against UMass Dartmouth while New England College completes its Massachusetts road trip the same day at Clark University.