Cambridge, Mass. –The MIT women's soccer team continued their penchant for scoring late to win games. With one minute and ten seconds left in a hard fought battle on Tuesday afternoon, Merricka Livingstone delivered a gem of a goal to lift the Engineers over visiting Salem State College by a 1-0 score. MIT collected its ninth shutout of the season, one shy of the team record, in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd.
The non-conference tilt looked like it was headed for extra time when the Engineer's winning surge started with three minutes to play. With the teams still knotted at zero, Vikings defender Taylor Orlando was sent off with a straight red card for an elbow to the face of Emily Kuo.
Though Orlando was dismissed, Kuo was able to stay on the pitch and as the clock ticked down, found Livingstone streaking down the right side. With an incredible curl to the far corner, Livingstone found the back of the net from 30 yards out. The game winning tally was the first goal of the season for Livingstone and Kuo picked up her seventh assist of the season as MIT grabbed the victory right at the death.
Livingstone now has tallied four points in the last two games, contributing assists on two goals by Kuo Saturday in the victory over Wheaton College before Kuo returned the favor Tuesday.
Neither team could really claim a chance in the first half, with each side firing just one shot on goal, though MIT clearly had the better of the possession. Andrea Park sailed in a free kick that was grabbed by Salem State goalie Lauren Garchinsky, while Meghan Wright had no trouble with a shot right down her throat from Orlando.
The second half saw the game open up somewhat and the hosts continued to control the time of possession without capitalizing. With 23 minutes left in the game, Lauren Hernley fired a shot that was always rising and sailed just over the crossbar. Just over five minutes from full time, the ball fell to the foot of Andrea Park from a corner kick. The sophomore defender drilled the ball at the Salem State goal, but Garchinsky needed only to step to her right to snatch it out of the air and the game stayed goalless.
Thanks to her two saves and the continued incredible play of the MIT backline, Meghan Wright collected her eighth shutout of the season, just one shy of the individual record for the school. The Vikings back four also played well in front of Garchinsky, who made four saves. Amanda James and company shut down NEWMAC scoring leader Alisha Lussiez and Cassandra Ceri, who gave MIT good time as a substitute attacking mid.
MIT will play its final home contest on Saturday afternoon. The Engineers will face Mount Holyoke and try to improve their overall (10-2) and NEWMAC (4-1) records. The Vikings fall to 4-8-1 and will try to get their first MASCAC victory (0-4) Saturday when they host Westfield State College.