October 22, 2011

Women's Soccer Blanks Coast Guard, 2-0

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Sophomore Allison Park (Irvine, Calif.) notched a goal and an assist in MIT's 2-0 victory over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in a NEWMAC women's soccer game on Saturday afternoon. The win lifted the Engineers' ledger to 10-3-2 on the year, marking their third straight 10-win campaign and fifth during the last six years. In addition, MIT raised its conference record to 5-1-2 which resulted in fourth-year head coach Martin Desmarias becoming the program's all-time leader in league victories.

MIT wasted little time applying pressure on the Bears' defense as it totaled five shots, three on goal, and two corner kicks during the first 15 minutes. Coast Guard netminder Mary Mills made a diving punch at freshman Elena Gianotas's (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) bending shot and then smothered a close-range strike by junior Merricka Livingstone (Palm Bay, Fla.) after five minutes elapsed.

The Bears nearly capitalized on a miscue by the Engineers' defense in the 14th minute. Avery Ayres sent a long feed into the box which was headed by a defender, but it spun backwards. Junior goalie Meghan Wright (Devon, Pa.) quickly swooped in to thwart the scoring attempt. On the counterattack, freshman Ambika Krishnamachar (Darien, Conn.) attempted to head the ball from the far side of the box, however it deflected off a defender towards the sideline. Park then sent a low 15-yard blast to the near post to put MIT on the board.

Mills came up with another athletic stop in the 27th minute, helping keep her squad in striking distance. From the far side, junior Leslie Meyer (Brownsburg, Ind.) sent a cross to freshman Ashley Peter (Manhasset, N.Y.) in the box who redirected it to fellow classmate Faith OBrian (Raleigh, N.C.). She then tapped it to the near post where Mills made the diving grab.

Coast Guard almost had the equalizer late in the frame during a scramble just inside the top of the box. Wright came off her line to scoop up the ball but couldn't hold on to it. Players from both sides attempted to gain possession; however, Wright pounced on the bouncing ball to end the threat.

Early in the second stanza, junior Stephanie Cooke (Lanoka Harbor, N.J.) sent a 25-yard strike to the far top corner which Mills snatched at full extension. Moments later, MIT increased its lead to 2-0 in the 55th minute. Junior Emily Kuo (Chicago, Ill.) and Park exchanged several passes up the near sideline before putting the ball on the foot of sophomore Rachel Dias Carlson (Albany, N.Y). A quick touch from three yards in front of the net ricocheted off a defender into the goal.

The best opportunity for the Bears to end the shutout occurred in the 81st minute on a corner kick by Brittany Fifer taken from the near side. The feed dribbled through the box and emerged close to Micaela Baca who was unable to corral the ball and make a play on the open net. Mills stymied the Engineers with another incredible stop in the 84th minute. Meyer sent a shot from the near side that managed to get past a pair of defenders. Mills initially moved to the middle of net but at the last moment she leapt towards the near post for the save.

In net, Wright turned away two shots for her eighth shutout of the season while Mills finished with 12 saves.

Next up for both squads will be home non-conference contests on Tuesday, Oct. 25. MIT will take on Husson University while Coast Guard (5-6-1, 1-6-1 NEWMAC) will square off with St. Joseph College (Conn.).