CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A fine rain fell steadily over Roberts Field as MIT women's soccer took on New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Clark University on a soggy Tuesday evening. After the Engineers took off to an early lead, the Cougars worked to close the gap, but slippery conditions and a relentless MIT offense swept Clark off its feet, giving Tech the victory in the final match of the NEWMAC regular season.
Prior to the game, three seniors were recognized for their contributions to the MIT women's soccer program. Playing their final regular-season game, Liz Theurer, Erika Granger and co-captain Katie Pesce were honored for becoming the first Engineers to hold winning NEWMAC records in all four years.
In just the seventh minute, Theurer showcased her skills with a remarkable drive to the net. Off a pass from Clair DeRosa, Theurer maneuvered past the final two defenders to bring the ball within ten yards of the goal. Cougar keeper Joanna Clark came off the line to stop the charge, but she slipped on the wet field, allowing Theurer to put away her sixth goal of the season.
In the 21st minute, MIT's Connie Park served a perfectly-placed corner kick into the middle of the penalty area. Park's pass found the foot of sophomore Alisha Lussiez who fired a one-touch shot through the defense and past Clark to put the Engineers up 2-0 before the half.
Clark's defense regained their composure through the second half, holding MIT scoreless and keeping the Cougars in the match.
One of the Clark's best opportunities came in the 67th minute, as Clark's Kari Mruz found herself in a one-on-one with defender Erika Granger. Mruz's pressure caused Granger to pass back to MIT keeper Meghan Wright, who unwittingly picked up the ball for an MIT foul. On the ensuing indirect kick, Clark's Charlotte Bowman sailed a shot just high over the crossbar. Wright remained perfect in net, stopping all five shots on goal and recording her third shutout on the season.
The win put MIT (9-5-2, 5-2-2 NEWMAC) in a tie for third place in the NEWMAC after the regular season, while the loss relegated Clark (8-7-2, 4-3-2) to outright fifth. Both teams will advance to play in conference quarterfinals this Saturday, October 31.