October 5, 2010

Women's Soccer Breaks Through Late in Victory over WPI

Cambridge, Mass. -- For 82 minutes on Tuesday, the MIT women's soccer team threatened to break through the back-line of WPI. In the final seven minutes of play at Roberts Field, they did it twice.

The host Engineers used goals from Emily Kuo and Lauren Hernley to outdo their visiting counterparts 2-0 in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game played on a raw and damp afternoon. 

After attacking the WPI goal all afternoon and firing 22 shots, MIT finally was rewarded when the ball was cleared straight to junior forward Emily Kuo, who ripped a shot right back at WPI goalie Maddie Willer. Willer could only get a hand on the ball but could not stop it from blasting into the net behind her. It was the seventh goal of the season for Kuo.

The score forced the visitors to chase the game and hope for a late equalizer, which opened up the counter-attack for MIT. Just three minutes after scoring, Emily Kuo found Alisha Lussiez streaking along the right flank. Lussiez centered the ball brilliantly for Lauren Hernley who slotted it past Willer to double the home team's advantage. Kuo and Lussiez picked up the assists, their sixth and fifth, respectively.

MIT had several chances to open the scoring in the first half but were unable to seize the opportunity. Eight minutes in, Andrea Park unleashed a shot from distance which appeared to hit the back of the goal, but was pushed over the top by Willer, who had 10 saves on the afternoon.

At the 21 minute mark, Kuo poked a right footer just over the bar from close distance and a minute later Lussiez couldn't finish a setup from Hernley, sliding the ball just wide of the net. Claire DeRosa also had a shot on goal 16 minutes from half and the ball was spilled for a second by Willer before being nestled away from a lurking Lussiez.

Early in the second, Kuo was denied on a double-save by Willer and Hernley saw a high voltage shot stopped.

The best chance for the visiting Engineers was at the end of the first half, when Kristen Garza swung a cross in on the MIT goal. Sophomore Meghan Wright dove off of her line and snatched the ball out of the air, not allowing Megan Forti to have a crack in front of the net.

Wright was barely tested all afternoon, making only one save to pick up her seventh shutout of the season.

MIT improves to 9-2 (3-1 NEWMAC) and will play an important home test on Saturday against Wheaton College. WPI sees its record fall to 3-8-1 (1-3 NEWMAC) and will look to rebound Saturday when they host Springfield College.